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Right-wing fears of fading popularity

May 15th, 2012

A leading right-wing commentator warns the Prime Minister that his followers are losing their patience and expect the government to deliver on their policies, and explain the lack of success.

“Mr Prime Minister! Isn’t it time for a dramatic announcement?Shouldn’t the real state of affairs be disclosed in all its details?” asks the editor-in-chief of Magyar Hirlap, István Stefka  in his Monday editorial.

While Hungary now finally seems to be approaching an agreement with the European Union and the IMF (on a stand-by credit line), he concedes, “our internal tensions are not subsiding, and our patience is wearing thin.” Stefka believes right-wing voters are dissatisfied for two reasons: firstly, because the culprits of  the past decade have not been punished for “the thousands of billions which disappeared through their fingers,” and secondly because the government is “imposing ever newer and newer taxes”. The right wing commentator also sees a link between the two factors: The “new taxes are a surrogate” for punishing guilty left-wing politicians, among whom he mentions former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány and former Budapest Mayor Gábor Demszky, a leading liberal. “People feel they personally have to pay for the damage which was caused.”

Stefka also complains that “people who owe their leading positions to counter-selection (a phrase much used during the Communist era to denote those appointed due to party-loyalty rather than ability) still predominate.” In 2002, after losing the first round of the elections, Mr Orbán made a passionate campaign speech and nearly managed to roll back the left-wing advance. We have not yet reached such an eleventh hour, Stefka argues, and urges the Prime Minister to urgently address his people’s complaints, as “patience is wearing thin, incomprehension is growing and our vision (of a new Hungary) may evaporate.”

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