In a modest grocery store on the fringes of downtown Budapest, Gabor Felkai shuffles about in a faded checked shirt, serving his regulars shots of bitter coffee and lamenting what he sees as the fading of democracy in his homeland.
He can see it in the vacant spot in his shop, amid the wine and whiskey, breads and cheeses, where Hungary’s leading leftist newspaper once perched.
For much of its history, the daily Nepszabadsag (“Liberty of the People”) was the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party. It became a strong independent voice in the years after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.
But the country has turned sharply to the right in...