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Azeri axe murderer, and confronting the IMF – last week’s lead stories

The dominant themes in Hungarian politics last week, the extradition of the Azeri murderer and the Prime Minister’s stance on the IMF talks are interpreted along political lines: commentators on the left call Orbán names including “traitor” and “liar”, while the premier's supporters argue that critics on the left have ...

Critics trying to capitalize on Azeri scandal

Népszabadság, the leading opposition daily publishes the third front page editorial in a row accusing the government of immoral behaviour and calling for heads to roll, while the extreme right Jobbik leader lectures the government on foreign policy. Independent analysts warn that Hungary has become laughing stock without any tangible ...

Battle rages on over freed Azeri convict

Commentators argue over the moral and political implications of what critics consider a diplomatic blunder. Right-wing pundits accuse Western critics of hypocrisy, while Népszabadság finds the official protest from the government hardly credible.

Mr Orbán’s planned visit to Moscow

A centrist analyst asks whether Viktor Orbán has realized that closer economic ties with Putin might in fact further Russia’s political interests in the region.

A bad week for the Forint and the government

Commentators agree that the weakening of the Hungarian currency (HUF) was due to a statement by the Minister of the Economy. One cautions the PM against nominating him for the presidency of the National Bank. Other analysts think recent events have dealt several blows to the authority of the governing ...

Armenian overreaction criticised

A pro-government pundit rejects Armenian accusations in connection with the “axe murderer affair,” and suggests that they are due to Armenia’s own problems rather than Hungary’s behaviour.

Prime Minister rejects IMF-EU conditions

Left-wing dailies accuse Mr Orbán of lying about the harsh conditions the IMF has allegedly set to start negotiations about a standby credit line for Hungary. Pro-government dailies, on the other hand, defend the Prime Minister’s resolve not to give in to IMF dictates and to prepare an alternative proposal.

The Wekerle-plan for regional co-operation

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s announcement of a cooperation plan with neighbouring countries is dismissed by left and liberal commentators as arrogant and unrealistic, while Magyar Nemzet defends it as an important initiative.

Weaknesses of the opposition, i.a. on Azerbaijan

Commentators argue that the left-of-centre opposition in Hungary is fragmented, and despite some hopes to the contrary, LMP and MSZP remain unlikely allies. Civic organizations offer no alternatives. They have also failed to perform well in condemning the diplomatic blunder caused by the transfer of a convicted Azeri murderer to ...

Axe murderer released in Azerbaijan after being transferred from Hungary

Most commentators deplore the decision of the Hungarian government to transfer Ramil Sahib Safarov to Azerbaijan to serve his life sentence for the killing of an Armenian man in Budapest in 2004. Analysts believe Hungary should have suspected that despite Azeri assurances to the contrary, the man would be released ...