Hungary. According to countryaah, Budapest is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Hungary. Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány ended up in blustery weather early in the year after claiming that there were “many terrorists” in Saudi Arabia’s national football team. The Hungarian national team had played against them with “death-defying courage,” according to Gyurcsány. The statement was made at a private party party with the socialists but was quoted in the press. Gyurcsány was forced into a public apology, which the Arab embassies in Budapest said to accept.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym HU stands for the country of Hungary and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
In February, the capital of Budapest was invaded by hundreds of tractors and agricultural machinery in a peasant protest against the government’s delay in the payment of EU grants. Thousands of farmers protested across the country, and the government promised to speed up the payments.
In the spring, Hungary was in conflict with several large EU countries that wanted to slow Croatia’s EU accession on the grounds that it did not cooperate sufficiently with the UN Criminal Tribunal in The Hague. Prime Minister Gyurcsány criticized Britain, France and Germany, saying there was no evidence of the allegations against Hungary’s neighbor Croatia.
In the election of a new president in June, opposition candidate László Sólyom won over Socialist Katalin Szili. The vote in Parliament was 185 against 182.
In the economic area, the budget deficit was a continuing problem. The government’s goal that Hungary should switch to euro 2010 seemed to be in danger. During the autumn, the government also received criticism from the European Commission for not reporting the budget figures fairly.
The government’s efforts to attract foreign industries with favorable conditions continued to be successful during the year. In October, Korean tire manufacturer Hankook announced that it would invest the equivalent of close to SEK 5 billion in a factory south of Budapest. The production is estimated to give about 1,500 new jobs. Like neighboring Slovakia, Hungary is thus developing more and more into a center for the automotive industry. Audi, Suzuki and others International car manufacturers have factories in the country.
In the 1st century BC. the area was inhabited by the Celtic tribe of the Eravis, whose capital was on Gellértbjerget. In 89 AD. the Romans set up a legionary camp called Aquincum, which included the Celtic word ak — ink ‘rich waters’. Close by, a military town (canabae) emerged and 2 km to the north a civilian town.
I 106 AD Aquincum became the administrative and military center of the province of Pannonia Inferior, and the civilian city gained in 124 AD. status as a municipality. During the Markoman Wars (167-180), Aquincum burned down several times. Canabae and municipium were rebuilt and achieved in 194 status as a colonia. The area was abandoned by the Romans around the year 400.
In Budapest, remains from civilian cities as well as canabae and military camps have been found. Two amphitheaters, the military and the civilian, the provincial governor’s palace from approx. 150 AD as well as several other facilities have been exposed. Part of the civilian town is accessible in a large ruined area, where the historical museum is also located. Here the exceptional bronze parts of a portable organ from 228 AD are stored.
Sharp EU criticism in legal report
Both Hungary and Poland receive harsh criticism in an EU report on how the rule of law is respected in the member states. The report, produced by the European Commission, expresses concern at the political governance of the judiciary in both countries and at the lack of action against corruption in Hungary; this is especially true of the close contacts between politics and business. The day before, Prime Minister Orbán had demanded the resignation of Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission and Head of the Commissioner for Legal Affairs. A so-called Article 7 procedure is already under way in the EU to examine whether Hungary is undermining European legal standards and democratic values. The European Parliament and several Member States want future payments of EU aid to be linked to how Member States respect democratic and legal principles.
Increased cheating with EU support
The EU’s anti-fraud authority Olaf, which looks at how EU support is used, states in its annual report for 2019 that the suspected cheating with money from the EU has increased in Hungary. Irregularities are feared around 4 percent of the amounts paid out during the year. That is ten times as high as the EU-wide average. In Hungary, EU money goes not least to the construction industry and energy investments.
US-funded Hungarian radio is re-emerging
The US-funded radio broadcasts in Hungarian from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty are resumed after being down for 27 years. The motive is the increasingly authoritarian control over the mass media in today’s Hungary. During the communist era, from 1949, the station broadcast from Munich. The new broadcasts take place via the internet. The Bulgarian and Romanian broadcasts have also resumed in recent years, for similar reasons as the programs in Hungarian.
Risk of infection closes the borders
The risk of spreading coronavirus means that Hungary will close its borders to foreign nationals for a month. Returning Hungarians must observe a two-week quarantine if they cannot show negative corona tests. Some exceptions are made, they mainly apply to diplomats and people in transit. Through the tightening, Hungary is currently becoming the EU country that reintroduces the strictest restrictions. When the entry ban is announced a few days before the end of the month, 614 deaths in covid-19 have been confirmed. Nevertheless, both Spanish and German football fans are let into Hungary a few weeks later, which authorities describe as a test.