Thursday, 6 January 2011
Hungary to you and me. I have spent much more time in that country in the past week than I intended to. I visited Budapest in 2003 at the start of the European Capitals Project. It is memorable to me for excellent food, beautiful buildings, the Statue Park we went to by train, which is where the Soviet-style statues go to die, and also for being locked out of our hotel room, unintentionally, by significant other for FOUR HOURS, which time I spent sitting on a sofa outside the room and reading "Great Parliamentary Scandals" by Matthew Parris, most entertaining. And also (which I knew already) Hungarians all speak v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y, whatever language they are using. Anyway, they have taken over the presidency of the EU, and the spotlight is on their newly restrictive media law. I have been at home today with a throat infection, and so have had more time to look at media stuff, but the only report of this I found was on the German public channel, and as my command of German is not fantastic I did not get the full story in detail. Later I found the story on Euronews in French and English, more accessible to me anyway. Whatever you think of his policies, and I am inclined to take a dim view, Viktor Orban is an interesting politician, and one I suspect will be remembered better once he is gone. But for now he is in charge.