At the beginning of 2012 Hungary is facing a financial and solvency crisis for the third time in the past six years. The forint is weakening again spectacularly, interest rates are rising and government securities can hardly be sold or only at horribly high yields.
There is not one Orbán government but several. We know that straight from the horse’s mouth: the Kötcse speech given by prime minister-in-waiting Viktor Orbán in 2009. That speech was much analysed but mainly only in terms of Orbán’s “centre ground” being undemocratic because there is no room there for the opposition.
Parliament passed new laws on the organisation of the courts and the public prosecution, as well as the legal status of judges and public prosecutors, on 28 November. The Justice Ministry, which submitted the bills, described the legislative package as a reform, although it is nothing of the sort.
The draft electoral law submitted by János Lázár, leader of the governing party’s caucus, on 20 November can be described as a show of strength.Â On the majority of points the government has opted for the tougher options. It is not guaranteed, however, that Fidesz will be the party to benefit from all the changes.
The “novel” economic policy of the Orbán government has taken plenty of flak both in Hungary and abroad. Moreover the European sovereign debt crisis puts the Hungarian economy, which has long faced serious problems, in an even more precarious position. Among foreign analysts the view is gaining ground that Hungary could meet the same fate as Greece. The question is, how did things get to this point? Will the government be capable of preventing such predictions from being fulfilled or will Hungary be the next victim of the economic domino effect?
Plutarch notes at the end of his biography of Caesar that fate is not so much unexpected, as unavoidable. The split of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) is a case in point. Having been created in October 1989 as an alliance of necessity of different wings and lobbies of the former state party, it was a key actor in national politics until its heavy defeat in the 2010 general elections.
Hungarians beyond the borders (határontúli magyarok) will no longer be discriminated against in Hungary’s election law, parliamentary Speaker László Kövér said on Tuesday. The government lawmaker was speaking in Pétervására, a village in the northeast, while greeting 43 Hungarian Romanians who were taking their oaths of citizenship, state news agency MTI reported.