Press review: conflicting views on the state of the Hungarian economy

A left-wing commentator describes social protection measures introduced just three months before the next parliamentary elections as a desperate attempt by the government to increase its popularity. His right-wing counterpart believes these measures are proof of solid fundamentals.

Overview of the Hungarian press by

In Nepszava, Róbert Friss says the Hungarian economy is in dire straits, with high inflation, a skyrocketing government deficit and a balance of payments hitting negative records. Whoever wins the election, he writes, will have to readjust the economy – as some opposition leaders consider they better let Fidesz win and clean up their own mess. Under such conditions, he sees the voice-buying measures as a last-ditch effort which he compares to Shakespeare’s famous scene from Richard III, in which the dying king exclaims in the midst of battle: “A horse, a horse. ! My kingdom for a horse! ‘.

In Magyar Nemzet, on the other hand, Dávid Megyeri accuses the left critics of the government of not having an economic policy apart from austerity. The government, he argues, has avoided a wave of business bankruptcies during the Covid crisis and is now stimulating growth that will catch up with losses in public finances in the years to come. Tax breaks and pension increases next year are part of that process and have been made possible by growth of more than 6 percent this year, Megyeri adds. In his final remark, he points out that the doomsday scenario described by opponents of the government contrasts sharply with the views of major international credit rating institutions, which upgraded Hungary’s sovereign debt in 2021.

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Orbán government promises myriad state support and massive pay increases ahead of 2022 election

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The announcements include wage increases in certain industries, income tax cuts for families, an income tax exemption for workers under 25, and some home renovation grants.

Featured photo illustration via Viktor Orbán’s Facebook page

Laura T. Thrasher