Fidesz to continue negative campaigns for 2018 elections

Balázs Hidvéghi, the director of communications for the ruling Fidesz party, claimed at the Tusványos “Free University” that the party will continue its negative campaigns for the 2018 elections because “it really works,” writes Index.

Hidvéghi gave an insight into Fidesz’ communication strategy for the upcoming year, stating that it will go in two fundamental directions. One campaign will communicate the government’s achievements, which it will highlight through favorable data.

“But good news is less interesting than bad news, as negative news creates a sensation,” said Hidvéghi. Thus their other campaign for the 2018 election will be negative in nature and state what Fidesz’ opponents are doing wrong.

In addition, the party’s criticism of Brussels will also continue next year as well as the EU’s attempt to “force” migrants to live in Hungary.

Die Presse: Netanyahu’s visit defused anti-Semitism charge against Hungarian government

Die Presse writes why the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Hungary was important to the Hungarian government, as relayed by HírTV. According to the Austrian daily, Netanyahu’s visit makes it difficult for the opponents of Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán to label him an anti-Semite.

The paper’s correspondent, Boris Kálnoky, quotes Orbán as stating that Hungary has zero tolerance for anti-Semitism, the very thing that the prime minister and his government had been accused of in recent days.

Hungarian youth increasingly disengaged from politics and public life

A panel of experts put together by Magyar Nemzet reveals that Hungary’s younger generation is disenchanted by public life and unlikely to be involved in politically-related activities.

Sociologist Andrea Szabó claims that those between the ages of 15-29 widely believe politics to be thoroughly corrupt and politicians to be liars.

The professional consensus of the experts is that “students who express a definitive political opinion may be stigmatized by their peers, and as a result there are very few who are actively engaged in politics.”

Hungarian Helsinki Committee wins prestigious human rights award

Index reports that the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a non-governmental organization that provides legal support to migrants and refugees in Hungary, is a co-winner of the 2017 Calouste Gulbenkian Prize, which was handed out today in Lisbon.

The Gulbenkian Foundation honored the Hungarian Helsinki Committee together with Australian lawyer Jane McAdam, for “their invaluable respective contributions towards defending human rights, in particular those of refugees.” Both the Hungarian NGO and McAdam will each be awarded the sum of 50,000 Euros.

US official chosen to deal with Hungarian issues

The administration of US President Donald Trump has nominated Wess Mitchell as the US government official to deal with European and Eurasian affairs, among them matters relating to Hungary, according to Index.

Mitchell is the director of the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) think tank. Index’s diplomatic source does not expect the nomination of Mitchell to instigate a complete shift in US-Hungary relations largely because of the institute’s preoccupation with Russian propaganda and disinformation.

Anonymous anti-government messages appear as billboards

The mysterious anti-government messages that suddenly appeared on advertising pillars on Tuesday are now popping up on billboards in Budapest, reports HVG. The only words written on these billboards are, “The people can not be banned, but the government can be replaced.”

anonymous billboard

The anti-government campaign appears to be an attempt to get around the new billboard law that took effect in mid-July. The news source suspects that the Jobbik party, working with Lajos Simicska’s Mahir advertising company, is behind the campaign, although both sides deny any arrangement between them.

Netanyahu attacks EU on open mic at V4 meeting in Budapest

Visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was caught on a hot mic calling the EU’s policy towards Israel “crazy” during a meeting in Budapest with the prime ministers of Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland today.

The meeting with the V4 premiers was otherwise a closed session, but Netanyahu’s remarks were transmitted into headphones worn by reporters, as reported by Haaretz.

“The European Union is the only association of countries in the world that conditions the relations with Israel, that produces technology and every area, on political conditions,” said Netanyahu, who called this arrangement “actually crazy.”

Negotiations over CEU issue moving slowly between government and NY State

Index writes that the Hungarian government has only had two meetings with US government officials over the past four months to attempt to resolve the issues threatening the future of Central European University (CEU). One of these meetings was in person in New York and another one was held over the phone.

The news source asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade when their negotiations with the State of New York might produce an agreement, but have not yet received an answer.