"Founded as an anti-communist group in the 1980s, Fidesz certainly had the potential to establish itself as a centre-right movement, capable of sweeping away the corruption and inefficiencies of communism and helping to build a modern, efficient, Hungarian state. However, since it came to power in April 2010 Fidesz has implemented a strongly populist, nationalist, anti-market agenda. It has introduced punishing taxes on banks, energy utilities, telecom companies and big retailers. Since most of these sectors are dominated by foreign strategic investors – many of whom brought in their money and skills when the future of Hungary and central Europe was far from secure – these measures reveal a strong anti-foreign and anti-market bias. The government justified its predatory taxes by claiming that financial firms and public utilities generate no value, but only expropriate and redistribute income earned elsewhere.
Far from being centre-right, this is an obsolete world view reflecting raw Marxist thinking, under which value is created only by agriculture and manufacturing. Services, the main source of growth, revenue and jobs in all developed economies, don’t contribute to social welfare in the Fidesz view. According to the government, the regime is constructing a new society 'based on labour'. Further, while making an all-out effort to gain EU funding to underpin investment, the prime minister has repeatedly claimed that the western model of free markets has failed and that new ideas can only come from the east. By this he clearly means state capitalism and 'managed democracy' a la Putin.
Orbán’s government has eliminated most checks and balances and deliberately created a state no longer constrained by the rule of law. In 2011, Fidesz unilaterally drafted and adopted a new constitution which largely abolished the independence of the judiciary, curtailed civil liberties, restricted media freedom and subordinated all non-governmental but state organisations to political control, including the Constitutional Court, the Media Council, the State Audit Office, the Fiscal Council, the Competition Office, the Financial Supervisory Authority, etc. Is it typical of a classical conservative party in the western European tradition to cherish illiberal democracy, destroy checks and balances, and abolish the rule of law?"