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Punitive sanctions desirable?

April 1st, 2013

Former SZDSZ MP Tamás Bauer who is a professor of economics and serves as Vice-Chairman of Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition (DK) party, believes it would be in Hungary’s best interest to be punished by the EU for what he calls the government’s ill-conceived economic policy and “autocratic” rule.

Writing on Galamus, Bauer contends that the government is keeping the public deficit under the 3 per cent of GDP threshold thanks to unsustainable measures, and therefore the EU should continue to keep Hungary under an excessive deficit procedure and even partly withhold its development funds. On the other hand, he is also convinced that Mr Orbán is systematically dismantling democratic checks and balances and in order to put an end to this evolving “autocracy” the European Union would be entitled to use article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty and ultimately deprive Hungary of her voting rights in European institutions. He criticises Socialist Party Chairman Attila Mesterházy and Together-2014 leader Gordon Bajnai who cautioned the EU against imposing sanctions on Hungary (saying that “the people should not be punished for the government’s mistakes”). Bauer compares what he calls PM Orbán’s “cold war” against the European Union to Hungary’s World War II position on Hitler’s side. At the time, he argues, good Hungarian patriots had to side with the Allies and fight in the ranks of the Soviet Army or the Royal Air Force, and not shrink even from shooting at Hungarian soldiers. Anyone involved in politics (on the opposition side), he concludes, “should demand the use of Article 7, rather than opposing it.”

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