Wednesday, May 25

Hungarian Prime Minister Orban has had great success

  • Zoltan Kovacs

    Spokesman, Government of Hungary

Viktor Orban during the Fidesz party’s annual meeting in November 2021.

My prediction is that voters will re-elect him.

This is a debate post. Opinions in the text are at the writer’s expense.

It is now less than three months until the parliamentary elections in Hungary, which will be held on 3 April (and not 4 April, as mentioned in Frank Rossavik’s comment on 19 January).

The international media, which is critical of the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government, have already thrown themselves into the discussion about the state of Hungarian democracy, our electoral system and freedom of the press.

Unfortunately, their reports twist the facts and distort the truth.

We can live with irony and humor. But Rossavik’s comment in Aftenposten humiliates not only Prime Minister Orbán, but also our national symbol and electoral system, which is as good as Norway’s.

Things voters care about

The truth is that Prime Minister Orbán does not have to “sprinkle sugar” before the election to gather voters. My prediction is that the voters will re-elect him, because he could speed up the country and show real results for the Hungarians.

At the end of 2021, for example, unemployment in Hungary fell to 3.7 per cent and is still one of the lowest in the EU. In addition, GDP growth is expected to be 6.5-7 per cent for 2021.

Other important measures that can be mentioned are that the minimum wage was set at 200,000 HUF (Hungarian currency) a month, tax cuts were introduced for families and companies, energy prices have become reasonable, and effective measures were initiated against rising inflation and so on.

These are the things that voters care about.

Throw Hungary into disarray

While the opposition coalition, which Aftenposten’s commentator does not notice, also includes Hungary’s right-wing extremist and anti-Semitic Jobbik party, will only throw Hungary into disarray.

The internal sources of the joint campaign are already complaining about deep “divisions and tensions” and difficulties in making decisions.

To make matters worse, the opposition’s joint prime ministerial candidate, Péter Márki-Zay – whom the commentator calls “fearless” and “healthy” – has himself made a number of unfortunate, anti-Semitic statements.

He recently posted a video on his Facebook page where he discussed inappropriate topics, such as the number of Jews in the ruling Fidesz party. In the past, he has also openly supported some of the most infamous candidates for the far-right party Jobbik.

How would this Potemkin coalition govern a country when it seems incapable of choosing a suitable, honorable candidate and putting together an election campaign?

This is one of the main questions that our Norwegian friends should ask themselves. Unreasonable claims about authoritarianism do not hold water, and although the current opposition may be trying something new, it is not exactly “fresh”.

Media freedom in Norway

Another question to consider: Aftenposten receives tens of millions in indirect state support. What does it tell us about media freedom in Norway? Should that state aid be used to attack the democratically elected leader of an EU member?

Hungarian voters are not stupid. On April 3, they will make a decision, and my prediction is that they will re-elect a man who could speed up the country.

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