Last week in Hungary

Hungary by Atlatszo – A forest was cut down to allow the Samsung factory to expand; locals protest the decision

This is what Atlatszo wrote this week:

A forest was cut down to allow the Samsung factory to expand; locals protest the decision

The battery factory owned by Samsung is expanding in Göd, a suburb of Budapest North of the Hungarian capital. The municipality of Göd offered an 80-hectare industrial area for development last year, and the winner has just been announced: Samsung will use the area to expand the current battery factory. Locals are furious and worried because they feel that they had not been properly informed about the project.

Thomas O. Melia on Orban’s WH visit: Trump has a pattern of embracing authoritarian leaders

Despite the ideological and political similarities between Trump and Orban, the Hungarian prime minister had to wait quite a long time to get an invitation to the Oval Office. We asked Thomas O. Melia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State during the Obama administration, to help us understand the significance of the visit.

Hungarian government is about to spend another €31 million on propaganda

In the middle of April, the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister signed a framework contract worth 31 million euros with the advertising companies owned by Gyula Balásy to implement a campaign dealing with ‘government decisions that have a major impact on citizens’ lives’.

This is what is going on in Hungary:

Politico: ‘America First’ meets ‘Hungary First,’ but White House wary of love fest

When Donald Trump became president, Europe’s fiercest anti-immigration leader saw an opportunity to garner international legitimacy for his policies. But for more than two years, Orbán  failed to get an invitation to visit the White HouseFinally, on Monday, Trump hosted Orbán in the White House, the first time a Hungarian prime minister has visited the White House since 2005.

CNN: Trump praises controversial leader of Hungary

President Trump welcomed Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the White House, saying the controversial leader is “highly respected” across Europe.

The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Keeps Sanctions at the Ready Even as Trump Courts Hungarian Leader

The U.S. has readied sanctions against close associates of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán amid worries the Central European state is a growing liability for Western interests, people familiar with the matter said.

Hungary: the crucible for faulty efforts by Facebook to banish fake news

In Hungary, Facebook’s attempts to clean up its platform and salvage its reputation are increasingly bringing it into confrontation with the government. The resulting showdown highlights worrying flaws in the systems that the US company has created to stamp out fake news, hate speech, bot armies and other “bad actors”.

The Atlanti: Bernard-Henry Lévy: How an Anti-totalitarian Militant Discovered Ultranationalism

We first met almost 30 years ago, right after the Berlin Wall came down, at a meeting of dissidents held in France’s embassy in Budapest. And now, April 10, here is Viktor Orban transformed by the intervening 30 years: a pudgy satrap with the physique of a retired wrestler, Vladimir Putin without the muscles.