Monday, April 26, 2010

The Right triumphs

Well, errm, no, not in Britain. After all, we do not exactly have a right-wing party, though UKIP has some pretensions to being one. Certainly, it is the only one that gets anywhere near the sort of ideas any self-respecting person on the Right can agree with. The Conservatives are little more than Social-Democrats these days; indeed, some of the Boy-King's ideas make one think that they have moved even further to the Left. And no, the BNP is not a right-wing party but a socialist one of the national rather than international variety. Don't even bother me with that.

The country I am talking about is Hungary. As predicted, FIDESZ, the right-wing party, has secured more than two-thirds of parliamentary seats, which will enable it to form a government that is not a coalition - a first since democratic elections were resumed after the collapse of the Communist system.

Viktor Orban, the incoming Prime Minister (he has been that once before), as usual, resorted to hyperbole:
"Revolution happened today in the polling booths," said Viktor Orban, the country's next prime minister.

"Hungarian people today have ousted the regime of oligarchs who misused their power, and the people have established a new regime, the regime of national unity."
The extreme right-wing party, Jobbik, has acquired 47 seats, with the Socialists coming second with 59 seats.

For the moment the discussion is all about emblems, with the leader of the Jobbik, promising that he will wear the uniform of the Magyar Gárda, banned because of its references to the insignia of the Nyilas (Arrow Cross) Party, the local wartime Nazis.

At the same time Mr Orban is promising many things that he is unlikely to deliver:
Fidesz, which led the governing coalition in 1998-2002, has pledged to reduce bloated national and local government payrolls, simplify the tax system, grant citizenship to ethnic Hungarians in neighboring countries and halve the number of parliamentary deputies.
If ethnic Hungarians (defined to which generation, one wonders) acquire Hungarian citizenship and decide to move to the country there is likely to be a backlash, especially if the economic problems are not sorted first. Mr Orban will have to make a decision as to what comes first.

Oh and he has been making loud statements about not taking orders from the IMF, the EU or even Hungary's own Central Bank. Then again, what he possibly meant was that his government will seek a partnership with all those organizations. It is really quite hard to tell at this stage but at some point Mr Orban will have to stop grandstanding and get down to some hard work.


  1. You don't really seem to understand Hungarian politics. Fidesz has ridden to popularity by opposing the introduction of the most basic of market reforms into the public sector, most notably in the health service. Its entire economic package rests on the premise that it can persuade the IMF to raise the acceptable budget deficit to nearly 6%. And it also has a nasty irredentist, nationalist streak that will lead to deteriorating relations with neighbours with large Hungarian minorities, ie Slovakia, Romania and Serbia.

    They may sit with the EPP in the European Parliament, but they are paternalistic in social policy, in the same sort of way the CSU in Bavaria is, as opposed to the free market FDP.

  2. Always nice to have anonymous commenters stating the obvious.