The Viktor 2

2014. április 6. 23:44
Thomas Marton
The Telegraph
The Socialist Party and its allies on the left have never recovered.

„But why are Viktor Orbán and the alliance he leads, Fidesz-KDNP, set to win another sizeable majority?

The first reason is the economy. Those so-called unorthodox policies seem to be working. The Orbán Government has brought the fiscal deficit under control, down to 2.2 percent in 2013. Unemployment has dropped by more than 3 points, down to 8.6 percent, since Orbán took office. Domestic interest rates are low and the country’s borrowing costs have come down. Bond auctions are frequently over-subscribed. Hungary enjoys a healthy trade surplus. Perhaps most importantly in an election year, as forecasts call for growth of 2.1 percent, domestic consumption is at an eight-year high and the economic sentiment index was the highest in the EU in January. Hungarians, whether they’re feeling the turnaround yet, are upbeat about the prospects of the recovery and more so than they’ve been in years.

The second reason is the terrible state of the political opposition. The left in Hungary, led by the Socialist Party, has been in a tailspin for years. Informed Hungarian observers say it’s difficult to understand today’s lopsided political dynamics without referring to the 2006 scandal of Balatonőszöd and the government of former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány. The former Socialist PM was caught on tape in 2006 saying that his government had achieved nothing and that he had »lied day and night« to get re-elected.

If that weren’t enough, more scandal has surfaced recently. A vice president of the Socialist Party, Gábor Simon, was forced to resign when a newspaper revealed that he had reportedly more than $1 million in a bank account in Austria, which he had neglected to declare since 2008. He has also been charged with forgery for holding a fake passport reportedly used to open other bank accounts. Making matters worse, Mr. Simon claims that the money is not his own, that he has been only an “asset manager” and that senior party officials knew about the accounts.

The voters, according to the polls, are not impressed. Support for the opposition alliance has fallen since its formation in January, many apparently defecting to the far-right party, Jobbik, and the green party, LMP. Because the coalition comprises more than three parties, it must meet a threshold of 15 percent to enter parliament. One recent poll had them as low as 16.”
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