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Out on the prairie or home on the range?

June 16th, 2011

The leading left wing daily Népszabadság criticises Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for enshrining his economic policy in so called “cardinal acts”, and denounces his decision to finance Hungary’s debt-servicing from the financial markets, rather than negotiating with the IMF.

Róbert Friss, a leading commentator at the newspaper, comments sarcastically on Mr Orbáns’s interview in the Vienna tabloid Kronen Zeitung, in which the Prime Minister said he intends to tie the hands of his ten successors as far as economic policies are concerned.

In actual fact, the recently approved new constitution stipulates that tax policies should be based on just such “cardinal acts,” laws that can only be amended with a two thirds majority in Parliament. “Mr Orbán has proven once again his attraction to tabloids. He is conscious of the vast audiences he can reach through such newspapers. The problem is that this is a medium that doesn’t tolerate sophisticated rhetoric, and condemns the speaker to intellectual nudity.”

Friss believes that in this interview the PM exposed certain traits that he would prefer to conceal. One example is his policy of not submitting to the requirements attached to IMF loans. He told the Austrian newspaper that “we left our well-heated stables and went out onto the prairie, where it is cold and a sharp wind blows. But that’s what freedom is like”.

“But what if the herd one day opts for the warmth of the stables, instead of the wind and the cold? Will they have to stand in front of the stable-doors for forty years? “

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