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Orban Draws on Medieval Map of Hungary as Part of State Overhaul

A tourist looks out across city rooftops from a viewing area at St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, Hungary.

A tourist looks out across city rooftops from a viewing area at St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, Hungary.

Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg

Viktor Orban, who’s come under broad condemnation for his decade-long project to transform Hungarian state institutions under his control, is having a go at the country’s map. 

The prime minister’s ruling Fidesz party drafted a constitutional amendment that would re-designate the nation’s 19 counties with terms that were in use until 1949, at the start of the communist era. A county -- “megye” in Hungarian -- will become “vármegye,” attaching the word for castle to form an archaic word that was common in the centuries before Hungary lost some two-thirds of its territory after World War I.