AHF eNews March 11th, 2005 / www.americanhungarianfederation.org

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Next AHF National Meeting on April 2nd, 2005 in Washington, D.C. Members receive special room rates at the Marriott Crystal City at Reagan National Airport. For details and directions [read more] and [join us!]

3/11/2005 - AHF Meets Rumanian President Basescu and urges him to Support Restoration of Church Properties to Hungarian Minority - Rumanian President Traian Basescu kicked off a two-day visit to Washington Tuesday (8 March), with the aim of strengthening the US-Rumanian strategic partnership at the political, military and economic levels. AHF personally congratulated Mr. Basescu on his "committment to reform" and told him that church property restitution in Rumania is an issue watched closely by the Hungarian-American community and the US Congress. [read more] [see all AHF news]

George W. Bush praises Basescu as a "special friend" and "special leader." "Rumania is a 'special ally' because Rumania shares the same values we do: human rights, human dignity, rule of law, transparency in government, anti-corruption." AHF knows the situation is far from Bush's rosy picture, but hopes Mr. Bush's encouraging words help bring change to Rumania. Click the Image to see the [LIVE INTERVIEW] on Fox News.

3/11/2005 - A Huge Victory! Szelmenc border crossing to open! - A long-awaited border crossing for the divided village of Szelmenc will soon open according to a recent decision of the Slovak government. AHF worked with its member and lead organization in the effort CHACR. CHACR was able to mobilize the American Hungarian Congressional Caucus and the Hungarian American Community to urge Slovakia and the Ukiraine to end this cold-war division. Congratulations to CHACR and all that worked so hard in this effort! [read more] [see all AHF news]

3/10/2005 - AHF and its Washington DC Chapter, set to commemorate the 1848 Freedom Fight on March 12th at American University's Wesley Theological Seminary, Oxnam Chapel. Controversial ethnic Hungarian political figure Jeno Szasz to address the audience. He will discuss issues ranging from church property restitution and anti-Hungarian policies, to the lack of Hungarian-language educational opportunities in Transylvania. All are invited. 2 pm, 4500 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, D.C.

3/3/2005 - The President of the Assembly of European Regions, Riccardo Illy, called on the Serbian government to guarantee the autonomy of Vojvodina. Autonomy for Vojvodina was the hot topic during conference on Regionalism in Novi Sad. [read more] [see all AHF news]

3/3/2005 - US State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Releases Country Report on Human Rights Practices - 2004: Serbia and Montenegro: "there was an upsurge in vandalism and violence against minority ethnic and religious groups in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina.... The targets were mainly ethnic Hungarians and ethnic Croats--the two largest minorities in Vojvodina." [read more] [see all AHF news]

2/5/2005 - Banned Trianon Documentary makes it's way to the Internet for download and viewing!

Those interested in viewing the controversial film that was banned by the Rumanian AND the Hungarian governments, can now view the film on the Web. Directed by the renowned Gábor Koltay and with internationally respected historians such as Nemeskürti and Raffai, the film has and will continue to spark critical debate. AHF encourages open debate on Trianon and encourages all to review the film - unfortunately this site offers the film in Hungarian only. [Go to film]
NOTE: The site has the film's 13 parts out of 14. To view, just LEFT click on any portion. Once there, you can view it from your Browser or save it. To save that portion, RIGHT click the small yellow symbol (100/k) and "Save target as" to your hard drive.

Did President Bush's inaugural address indicate a change in US attitude toward support for national self-determination and autonomy?

"Across the generations, we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government..."Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities." [Read his speech]

AHF applauds such language and hopes these words can be made policy for ethnic Hungarian communities struggling for survival.

Related Story:

NGO CALLS FOR ACTION ON KOSOVO'S INDEPENDENCE... The International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a 40-page report released in Prishtina, Belgrade, and Brussels on 24 January that "either 2005 will see the start of a final status solution that consolidates peace and development, or Kosovo may return to conflict and generate regional instability." AHF is calling for international attention on the Vojvodina province in Serbia-Montenegro where anti-Hungarian violence continues. [more]

2/2/2005 - The Violence continues: Six-member Hungarian family slain in Vojvodina

(AP) Six members of a Hungarian family were brutally killed in adjoining homes in a northern Serbian town on the border with Hungary, radio B-92 reported Wednesday. The bodies were found Tuesday in the family's adjoining homes in the town of Horgos, after neighbors noticed the houses were unusually quiet. A local court judge, Snjezana Lekovic, confirmed the killing, but police gave no official statement on the case. Horgos lies in Serbia's northern Vojvodina province that has recently seen a rise in attacks against the region's minority ethnic Hungarians. [more] [see all AHF news]

Kasza and Bugar Sign Declaration1/11/2005 -
The Szabadka Initiative: AHF signs joint declaration
of the Szabadka Initiative by ethnic Hungarian political parties and human rights organizations from successor states in an appeal to the Hungarian Government for more coherent support, coordinated planning, and dual citizenship.

AHF was among the fifteen organizations from Europe, North America, and Latin America that met January 5-6, 2005 in Szabadka/Subotica (Vajdaság/Vojvodina, Serbia-Montenegro) to join forces in persuading the Government of the Republic of Hungary to coordinate with them its efforts to assist ethnic Hungarians living as national minorities in Romania, Slovakia, Serbia-Montenegro, Ukraine, Croatia, and Slovenia. [more] [see all AHF news]

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Featured Link: Do you think you know something about famous Hungarians? Think again! See "Nobel Prize Winners and Famous Hungarians" on www.thehungarypage.com

Featured Member

The Center for Hungarian American Congressional Relations, (CHACR), headed by Sandor Nagy, empowers Hungarian Americans to voice their opinions in the US Congress. We serve as a bridge between our elected representatives and their Hungarian American constituents.
[Read More]

International News

Hungarians beaten by Rumanian
Hockey Fans

March, 07, 2005

Several ethnic Hungarians were beaten by Romanians after a hockey game in Romania's capital, Bucharest -reported the online magazine www.erdely.ma. The Hungarians who arrived by bus from Csik were unharmed, but those who came in small groups were attacked by fans of the opposing hockey team, the Romanian army’s Steaua. [Read more]

3/10/2005 - A rare event: Hungarian Church wins battle with Rumania to get back confiscated building: The Rumanian Government's Committee on Restitution, in a rare move, sided with the Hungarian Reformed Church and returned its Theological College Building in the Transylvanian city of Szekelyudvarhely. The seminary was founded in 1670 by Count Bethlen. Current tenants in the building, rebuilt in 1886, including Rumanian government offices, can stay and pay nominal rent. [Read More in Hungarian]

Hungary: Strategic Center of Europe
Korea Times, March 10, 2005

Last year was significant for Hungary, as the country became a member of the European Union. Hungary’s strategic location on the southeastern border of the EU makes it an excellent place to do business. The foreign companies that have invested about 43 billion euros in production and service facilities throughout the country since 1990 have hadgreat returns on their investments in Hungary, taking advantage of the wide range of opportunities for cooperation with the EU and neighbouring countries in East and South Europe. Since the mid-1990s, Hungary has boasted one of the highest growth rates in Central and Eastern Europe, exceeding the pace at which the EU has been expanding.

The enlargement of the EU has enhanced Hungary’s attractiveness as an investment location, thus foreign direct investments in Hungary and profit reinvestments within foreign direct investment (FDI) are expected to rise. Hungary’s industrial production grew by 8.3 percent in 2004 after corresponding figures of 3.6 percent for 2001, 2.8 percent for 2002 and 6.4 percent for 2003.
[read more]

High-tech Hungarians
Times Community, Fairfax, VA, 03/10/2005

If paprika is an essential ingredient in much of Hungarian cuisine, then world-class information technology (IT) and marketing are vital ingredients in a recipe the Hungarian government hopes will help some of its leading-edge companies break into the U.S. high-tech marketplace. The geographic locale that Hungary has selected for its first effort to expand its technology industry to the United States is right here in Fairfax County through the Hungarian Technology Center (HTEC) in Tysons Corner. Note: AHF Member, the American Hungarian Executive's Circle help found the HTEC! [read more]

Egon Ronay: Appetite for life
Scotsman.com, March 8, 2005

EGON RONAY SEEMS to have been around for ever. In the 1970s my parents had a copy of his restaurant guide that was older than I was. "Who do you think you are, Egon Ronay?" had been the response to any culinary complaint or query for two decades. Comedians perpetuated puns - Egon Bacon, Egon Toast - on the exotic Hungarian name, which was synonymous with gastronomy. Ronay’s guidebooks, first published in 1957, exhorted the English to demand more from the dining experience at all levels, and showed them where to find it. [read more]

Hungarian farm protests enter third week
EUBusiness.com, March 7, 2005

Disgruntled Hungarian farmers moved on Monday into a third week of protests around the country, demanding from the government the immediate payment of European Union agricultural subsidies. Gyurcsany government was slow to react. Negotiations between farmers and government officials have so far produced no final agreement since the farmers arrived from the countryside in Budapest two weeks ago, parking nearly 1,000 tractors on a downtown square.
[read more]

Sanofi-Aventis to set up $20M R&D Center in Hungary
Business Week.com, March 7, 2005

Pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis SA announced plans Monday to set up a euro15 million (US$20 million) research and development center at its Hungarian subsidiary Chinoin. The company will further boost capacity at its Hungarian unit over the next several years. The company employs 2,300 people in Hungary and has invested more than 100 billion forints (euro414 million, US$548 million) in its Hungarian subsidiary since 1991 [read more]

GE, IBM shift focus from
India to Hungary

Sharedxpertise.org, March 3, 2005

IBM has decided to create 700 jobs in Hungary for service outsourcing activities. GE recently sold its outsourcing hub in India while operating service outsourcing hub in Hungary. East Europe is providing one interesting scenario for these companies. IBM will invest 6.5-billion forint ($35.54 million), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said. IBM CEO Peter Paal said the main reasons for choosing the location were a promising Hungarian market and the availability of highly skilled labor.

German business software firm SAP recently announced plans to locate a services center to Hungary while General Electric has been operating a major services division in Hungary for years. [read more]

Tokaj still battling to protect its Magyar name
Budapest Sun, March 3, 2005

HUNGARIAN wine farmers will be feeling the squeeze now that EU quotas and restrictions on vineyard expansions (until 2010) are also valid for the Magyar wine industry. Furious winemakers, meanwhile, are also demanding that the Hungarian Government put more pressure on the European Commission to secure the exclusive right to the name of their beloved Tokaj wines, battling lobbying from as faraway as Australia and the US who want to use the Tokaj name in various phonetic forms. [read more]

Nicolas Salgo Dies; Watergate Developer, Ambassador
Washington Post - March 1, 2005

Nicolas M. Salgo, 90, an immigrant who became a millionaire financier and developer and whose properties once included the Watergate commercial and residential complex, died Feb. 26 at the home of a friend in Bal Harbour, Fla. He had Shy-Drager syndrome, a neurological disorder.[read more]

Town Opens Doors to 5 Million New 'Citizens'
Reuters - Mar 1, 2005

A small town in Hungary is set to become the country's biggest, on paper at least, by offering honorary citizenship to all ethnic Hungarians living abroad. Peter Koszo, the deputy mayor of Hodmezovasarhely, said his town decided to grant the civic honor to an estimated five million Hungarians overseas after a referendum in December failed to grant them national citizenship. [read more]

Hungary’s FIDESZ Keeps Eight-Point Lead
Angus Reid Consultants, February 27, 2005

The Citizens Party (Fidesz) remains the top political organization in Hungary, according to a poll by Gallup. 32 per cent of respondents would vote for the opposition Fidesz in the next general election, a four per cent increase since January. [read more]

High-speed internet to serve education and science in Hungary: First country in Central Eastern Europe to have a nationwide 10 Gbit/sec network
cbronline.com, February 28, 2005

Hungarian carrier Matav and Cisco Systems, an internet network provider, have inaugurated a national backbone network to provide high-speed internet access for the Budapest headquarters of the Hungarian National Research Education Network. The technology will also support seven universities, with the aim of ensuring reliable access to the GEANT2 computer network, the pan-European research network supported by the European Union.
[read more]

The Scientist: Albert Szent-Gyorgi used brain power to defeat 'atomic park'
thecapecodder.com - February 25, 2005

At the height of the Cold War, who on earth could possibly have locked horns with a powerful government agency on an issue as important as nuclear energy and won?

A Nobel laureate, that's who. [read more]

Washington D.C. museum celebrates Hungarian photographer Andre Kertesz
Globe and Mail - February 23, 2005

Aficionados of fine-art photography can take in a retrospective of Hungarian-born Andre Kertesz at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., through May 15. The 113-photo exhibit spans his 70-year career and include early images from Hungary in the 1920s, Paris in the thirties and New York City in the seventies and eighties. [read more]

Rumanian-Hungarian Leader Demands Hungarian-Language Faculty at University
- RFE/RL Newsline, February 22, 2005

Deputy Prime Minister Marko Bela, who chairs the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR), has told a news conference that it is necessary for the government to found a faculty for the Hungarian language at the state Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, RFE/RL's Romanian Service reported on 19 February. At the end of January, Education and Research Minister Mircea Miclea had refused the founding of a separate faculty for the Hungarian language, arguing that he categorically opposes segregation along ethnic lines.

[The "Art" of Hungarian Diplomacy - We wonder why we have so few friends around the world? - BDSz]
Saudi Arabia summons ambassador from Hungary
Saudi Arabia-Hungary, Politics, 2/21/2005

Riyadh on Sunday summoned its ambassador from Hungary after the Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany described, as kidding, members of the Saudi football team as "Arab terrorists," according to a Saudi source. [read more]

[When will Hungarians learn to work together like this? - BDSz]
Rumanian President Receives US Jewish Representatives.
- RFE/RL Newsline, February 17, 2005

Romanian President Traian Basescu received a delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations -- an umbrella group of 52 Jewish organizations in the United States -- in Bucharest on 16 February, according to a press release from the president's office. In the talks, Basescu underscored the good relations between Romania and Israel and stressed the Romanian authorities' resolve in the fight against anti-Semitism and extremism. The previous day, the delegation met with Prime Minister Popescu-Tariceanu, who, like Basescu, stressed that Romania is set to apply the recommendations made by the International Commission for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania.

Tribute: Tibor Gál - Hungary’s pioneering winemaker
Wine International - 15 February 2005

It is with enormous sadness that we report the sudden death of the pioneering Hungarian winemaker Tibor Gál, 46, who died in a car accident in South Africa on 10 February.
Tibor Gál shaped his reputation as one of the great oenologists at Tenuta dell' Ornellaia in Tuscany, and went on to fulfill his ambition to help raise the international reputation of Hungarian wines [read more]

[Can Vojvodina go down this road? BDSz]
Montenegrin Foreign Minister Says that Montenegrin Independence will Benefit the Region.
- RFE/RL Newsline, February 10, 2005

Montenegrin Foreign Minister Miodrag Vlahovic said at RFE/RL headquarters in Prague on 10 February that Montenegro
wants to join the EU and NATO as an independent country and not remain a "hostage" of Serbia's reluctance to cooperate with the Hague-based war crimes tribunal. He argued that Montenegro is "patient" and willing to discuss any number of possible political formulas regarding its statehood, providing that they do not compromise its "right to international recognition."

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