Hungary. According to CountryAAH, the total population in Hungary is 9,660,362 people in 2020. Prior to Hungary’s entry into the EU on May 1, Hungarian peasants demonstrated demands for increased government subsidies. In connection with a visit by France’s President Jacques Chirac, farmers blocked roads with their tractors and declared that they cannot survive competition within the EU. But the government, which is trying to keep down the growing budget deficit in order to introduce the euro in 2008, replied that it could not give in to farmers’ demands. On the other hand, the government was affected by extensive environmental demonstrations against the construction of a NATO radar at a nature reserve in southern Hungary. In April, the Ministry of Defense ordered the construction to be halted and promised an independent environmental impact assessment. The 44-meter-high radar station in the Zengo Mountains was one of three new radar installations designed to replace outdated stations from Hungary’s time in the Warsaw Pact.
In Hungary’s first election to the European Parliament in June, the ruling Hungarian Socialist Party made a bad choice, while the center and right parties had success. The election loss led to a debate within the Socialist Party, where the left wing demanded more emphasis on welfare issues and less budgetary tightening. Problems widened into a government crisis when Prime Minister Péter Medgyessy in August dismissed the Minister of Economy of the Liberal Peace Democratic Alliance. Medgyessy lost government confidence and resigned. The Socialist Party appointed the wealthy businessman and former sports minister Ferenc Gyurcsány as prime ministerial candidate. The decision was seen as a crime with the party’s past and Gyurcsány declared that he wanted to modernize the Socialist Party following designs from Labor leader Tony Blair in the UK.
In December, a controversial referendum was held on a proposal to grant Hungarian citizenship to ethnic Hungarians living outside Hungary’s borders. The issue led to political conflict with Romania, where the Hungarian minority is significant. The proposal was a small majority, but the turnout was too low for the result to be valid.
In the late 800-t. the Magyars conquered the area and took over the Slavic name of the place Pest, which means ‘oven’. The name probably originated due to the place’s many lime distilleries. The term was also used for the settlement on the western bank of the Danube, as the Hungarian word Buda also means ‘oven’. The German name of the city is “Ofen”.
Buda and Pest were destroyed during the Mongol attacks in 1241. Béla IV had the cities rebuilt and moved his royal chancellery to the newly built castle, “Budavár”. In 1244, Pest was granted a free city privilege, and in 1361 Buda became the capital of Hungary. Matthias 1. Corvinus built in the 1400’s, a new renaissance castle adjacent to the castle. The Ottoman occupation (1541-1686) meant a period of decline for both cities, but under the Habsburg rulers Maria Theresia (1740-80) and Joseph II. (1780-90) they got a new flourishing. In the late 1780’s, the Hungarian parliament was moved to Buda.
After a major flood disaster in 1838, the Danube was regulated and the quays built. In 1846, the first railway line between Pest and Vác was opened. After the settlement with Austria in 1867 (Ausgleich), the city took on more and more metropolitan character. In 1873, Pest and Buda were united under the name Budapest, and at the Millennium Celebrations in 1896, Budapest emerged as an elegant world city.
The population exploded. The development continued in the interwar period, when Budapest was considered one of the most important industrial cities. At the end of World War II, heavy fighting was fought in the city, during which all bridges over the Danube were blown up by German troops. The Red Army captured the city on January 18, 1945. When post-war reconstruction began, a third of all buildings lay in ruins. During the Hungarian Uprising in 1956, Budapest suffered new material damage when Russian tanks shelled the city.