Hungary’s Democratic Thirst – RantAWeek

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Hungary’s Democratic Thirst

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Posted by Angela Yang on February 24, 2012 at 11:01 am

With protests escalating and a lack of foreign aid, Hungary’s government seems to be losing its friends. The Hungarians face EU sanctions dealing with everything from their central bank to their media. This week the European Commission threatened to hold back 495 million euros of regional aid because leaders in Hungary are not doing enough to cut down on their deficit. Even though Hungary kept their deficit under 3% of their GDP as the EU requires, the commission seems convinced that the actions taken by Hungary’s government were only temporary. In actuality, the EU and IMF just need an excuse to hold back the money because they are worried about Hungary’s central bank becoming progressively independent. However, their worries are not unjustified because if the central bank gets to be too powerful, it can turn from a management and supervisory power into a political power.

Another problem is that allies to the current ruling party, Fidesz, have taken over basically every branch of their government, including an overwhelming two-thirds majority in Parliament. People bringing new ideas or criticisms to the media have been automatically rejected, causing the people of Hungary, the EU, and also the US to question their democracy. The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, only makes this worse by blaming other countries for their economic difficulties and ignoring the real issue. He also defends their new constitution, passed easily through Parliament, which has been heavily criticized for its strict media and judicial control. Protesters claim that even the judiciary has been morphed in favor of the Fidesz party.

A day after the new constitution took effect on January 1st, 2012, a massive group of Hungarians protested it outside of Budapest. This is hard for the government to ignore because it is the first time that differing political parties have come together to criticize and work together to fight for their disappearing democracy.  So before the Hungarian government gets too excited about their new constitution, they may want to consider the tens of thousands of people who disagree before they lose all their friends.

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1 Comment

  • On February 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm Anonymous said

    Very nicely written article. I agree with you point of view on this exquisite country.Thank you and the rest of your team for the wonderful blog entries. I thrououghly enjoy them.

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