By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife Columns)– Stop the press! Hungary’s center-right government is launching an aid operation for victims of Japan’s worst earthquake on record and tsunami.

The Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is adding a whopping 10 million Hungarian forints to the effort. That’s about 51 thousand U.S. dollars. One forint (0.00519662 dollar) for every Hungarian. Theoretically ofcourse. Minimum minted coins are nowadays five forints.
The money is almost enough to buy the usual limousine for a Hungarian cabinet member. Hungary currently chairs the European Union “so the world is watching”, Budapest must have thought.
“Consultations” obviously “continue with the Japanese embassy” about this crucial aid from Hungary for the devastated Asian nation, the MFA explained Friday, March 18, in a special press release.
Soon, Japanese men and women line up at an airport — or what is left of it — deeply bowing to Hungarian rescuers bringing water and (some) long-lasting food.
Where would Japan be without Hungary while facing nuclear disaster from an earth-quake stricken plant on top of human misery amid destroyed towns?
Hungary has experience. Some years ago, it gave a few million forints to hungry Africa after long days of negotiations with the United Nations World Food Program. Its extensive delegation enjoyed breakfasts and dinners at a Budapest five-star hotel.
Impressed by Hungary’s compassion, the EU will surely continue pumping billions of dollars, or euros, into Hungary and the region. Ofcourse, without making demands how these subsidies are spend. “We will not allow anyone to dictate to us from Brussels or anywhere else, ” says Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Thank you Hungary. Or in this case: Arigatou gozaimasu ( どうもありがとう。).
(BUDAPEST BRAINWAVE is a regular, opinionated, column distributed by BosNewsLife Columns. These views do not necessarily reflect those of BosNewsLife or its parent company. BosNewsLife is based in Hungary.)


  1. even I couldn’t have said it better….. still, it’s better than the Hungarian charity stamps in the early fifties, showing crying north Korean children, used no doubt to “aid” the north Korean army. I have a bunch of these stuck into the last pages of my old Trade Union Membership book.

  2. There’s no such thing as center, right, left, republican, democrat, etc.. These were only created to divide people and make them think their votes count. When ya get down to it, there’s only two or three groups- Christian, Occult, and possibly Bystanders. Get out of those fake paradigms!

  3. Aid is aid, even $ 50k. Thailand offered 175 k, but did it immediately and got in the world news.
    The way this H. government did it is a typically shoddy work – grand pompous words for a petty amount announced too late.
    A deep bow of respect and condolence would have impressed the Japanese more.

  4. Please watch your adjectives – the present Hungarian regime is not anywhere near “center” in any respect. It is a far right, more precisely, fascist regime in all but name.

    The rest of the article is OK – in Hungarian they say “nesze semmi, fog meg jól” (take this nothing, and hold it tight).

  5. Dear Tacitus,

    Usually in journalistic news pieces we tend to say center right, although Associated Press has also used the term, ‘populist, center right government’. Right-wing would be another option, but so far we have not chosen that term, partly because the way the current ruling alliance has been constructed. While a column is more opinionated, I try to stay away from words such as ‘fascist’ government in journalistic pieces, unless that becomes a more general accepted term to describe for instance a certain regime because of its involvement in for instance massacres or other atrocities. We’ll see…

    Best regards,

    Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife

  6. Dear BobE,

    I think your last sentence about Hungary’s ‘aid’ says it best: “A deep bow of respect and condolence would have impressed the Japanese more.”

    Best wishes,

    Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife


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