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“Hungarian” traits in the new German coalition?

December 17th, 2013

A pro-government daily suggests that the new German grand coalition might adopt solutions similar to those introduced by the Orbán government, but dares to hope at the same time that the new government will not adopt the anti-Orbán rhetoric favoured by the Social Democrats.

In his Magyar Nemzet editorial, Gábor Stier attributes the unexpectedly prolonged negotiations between the SPD and the CDU to what conservatives call the “populist SPD demagoguery” which “endangers the economy with its short-term promises” to alleviate poverty. The lowering of the retirement age and the new compromise on introducing a minimum wage for the first time may result in some loss of competitiveness for the German economy, yet the left could bring some welcome change as well if they push for a less restrictive economic policy, promoting growth while “spreading the burden of the recovery to banks”. That would be a novelty indeed, and would remind the author of the unorthodox line pursued by the Hungarian government. Another contribution of the Social Democrats may be ”a check on Merkel’s ’America-mania”, Stier believes, and concludes by expressing his hope that the SPD’s negative view of Hungary will not be converted into government policy.