What is the RRF, this hard-to-grasp abbreviation the meaning of which changed many times recently, what does it have to do with rule of law, and why doesn't the Hungarian government want any of what many call "free money?" A crash course on the political dimensions of the EU's Reconstruction Fund.
In the olden days, the political discourse was about tax systems, state budgets, and other similarly boring topics, however, today's politicians are more preoccupied with which bathrooms people use and how patriotic they are. The latest episode of Telexikon examines how politics turned into an identity-based mud-flinging contest.
It is not considered common practice for a media company in Hungary to disclose in a manner more detailed than how much money it has and how it is spent. However, since our story is by no means conventional and the fact that Telex runs on funds we've received from supporters, it seemed only obvious that we would disclose the details of our management and strategy to the public.
Thousands gathered in Budapest on Saturday to protest the construction of the Chinese Fudan University's Hungarian campus, which would cost the country €1.3 billion and jeopardise an ongoing affordable student housing project in southern Budapest. Video report from the protest.
"Transporter." This is all they say when people ask them about what they do for a living. Some quit after their first day on the job, others make the transition rather smoothly from being a cab driver, a chef, or a waiter – jobs that were all hard-hit by the pandemic. Télizöld Funeral Services allowed us a rare glimpse into the daily realities of their job.
The first — and for the moment, only — memorial woodland in Hungary is in Agostyán, about 30 miles northwest of Budapest. Here, the ashes of the deceased can be buried in biodegradable urns among the roots of the trees — you can choose a tree that fits the life or character of the deceased. This is not the place for kitsch burial accoutrements: here it is all about keeping close to nature. A similar memorial woodland is planned in Budapest, but that may take a while.
At the time Hungary started using Sinopharm's vaccine to immunize the elderly, there was no way to know how effective or safe it was. Since then, WHO approved the Chinese jab, and Orbán seems to have scored an important communications goal against the opposition – but was he right, or was he lucky?
The third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, characterized by the Kent variant, tore through Hungary much quicker and deadlier than what we saw during the previous two. Here are the similarities and differences of the three waves, charted.
According to Viktor Orbán and his foreign minister, Hungary is winning the international competition for economic opportunities in fast-growing Eastern markets. According to trade and investment statistics, the Hungarian economy grew more reliant on the EU instead.
We sat down for an interview with Katalin Karikó, probably the most famous living Hungarian scientist, a likely Nobel laureate, and the mind behind the mRNA technology used by Pfizer and Moderna for their Covid-19 vaccines.
With a year left until what looks to be a tight election, the government is reallocating considerable amounts of public assets away from the state and into, e.g., foundations. The goal could be to sustain Orbán’s „System of National Cooperation” in the event that he should lose the 2022 election. However it may turn out, does this mean that future governments will no longer have a say in higher education? And what about the hundreds of valuable state properties that were recently transferred? Are they destined to forever remain in the possession of Fidesz loyalists? Opposition leaders don’t see the situation as being completely hopeless.
3 May is World Press Freedom Day, but the press is only as free as much it is allowed to report; here are the walls constantly hit by independent journalists in Hungary.
An investigation has begun into obscene, sexist and racist statements by the Hungarian lecturer László Gulyás following student complaints. The students said that the professor in Szeged University has been known for years for such displays. While some people might have found his foul-mouthed style appealing, others saw his lessons as a form of disaster tourism, where he talked about niggers, the plan George Soros is hatching to destroy nations, and unlucky politicians being ensnared by the mouths of women. Some students have come to Gulyás’s defence, saying you don’t have to agree with the lecturer, and that to make a complaint against him marks the appearance in Hungary of a cancel culture that prevents the clash of conflicting opinions.
Hungarian civic organizations have launched their campaign titled "Vaccines for Life" to get people living in disadvantaged, segregated communities to sign up for the coronavirus vaccine. We took a look at how it went in Miskolc and the surrounding small towns.
Harvesting the official mortality data revealed that general health in Hungary is terrible and that the data provided by hospitals is far from standardized. Infographics about the first 25,000 coronavirus-related deaths in Hungary.
The construction of the Budapest campus of the Shanghai-based Fudan University has upset Hungarian domestic politics. The opposition-led Budapest is trying to oppose the project, but the Hungarian government seems relentless.
Reporters Without Borders warns that the Hungarian government's expanding hegemony over the media could inspire other European countries such as Poland or Slovenia.
Antal Rogán used to be a darling of pro-government tabloids, but ever since his new wife's real estate scandal, the Hungarian cabinet minister has vanished from the radar. We tried to get in touch with him for over two months, to no avail; In the end, we had to ask other prominent members of the governing party about what Orbán's most indispensable cabinet member is really doing.
Covid-19 has not spared disadvantaged communities, there were villages where everyone was infected at some point or another. Despite the danger, vaccine refusal is high due to fake news and misinformation spreading faster than the virus itself.
Interview with Tamás Deutsch, a co-founder of the Fidesz party helps to understand the mindset of Fidesz in key areas of the political game.
After taking the first step in Hungary's gradual reopening plan on Wednesday, the government now plans to ease restrictions even further, although the Hungarian Medical Chamber advises against a premature reopening.
Since the government and the health authorities prevent reports being made about the true state of affairs inside our hospitals, many people continue to play down the dangers of the pandemic and do not follow the necessary precautions.
The government-friendly TV2 group has justified the sacking of the former national football player János Hrutka as part of the rejuvenation of its commentating team. However, Hrutka’s dismissal came shortly after he had spoken up for the footballer Péter Gulácsi, who has been defending rainbow families. In other countries commentators are thrown out for racist or sexist comments, but in Hungary it is a different story.
A ton of garbage makes its way to Hungary every year along the Tisza. The main source of the problem is in Transcarpathia, Ukraine, but there doesn’t seem to be an easy solution to the matter. This is a complex economic, environmental, and social issue – one which we present in a short documentary film on Telex.
One of the biggest container terminals in Europe is under construction in a village near Hungary’s borderwith Ukraine. Financed mainly by a company belonging to a secretive billionaire, when it opens next year it will be the gateway on the New Silk Road for rail freight coming from China.
Over the past few weeks, the state of Hungary’s media has become the focus of intense public debate both domestically and across Europe. After the exclusively Fidesz-chaired Media Council revoked the oppositional Klubrádió’s frequency for bureaucratic reasons, the freedom of the Hungarian press, alongside that of the Polish and Slovenian press, once again came under scrutiny in the European Parliament.