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Looking back on 2017

January 2nd, 2018

Pro-government analysts looking back on 2017 believe that the Hungarian government has been the standard-bearer of what they call a ‘new political paradigm’. A left-wing pundit, on the other hand, deems the government’s policy path disastrous.

On Origo, Gábor G. Fodor describes 2017 as a year of discontent. The pro-government analyst suggests that the radical anti-elitism that has swept the Western world has created a political paradigm shift. Fodor predicts that anti-elitism, the rejection of what he calls a ‘liberal political correctness’ and the increasing importance of national sovereignty and identity will be the hallmark of politics in 2018. He sees the Hungarian government as one of the first to adapt its policies to these new circumstances, through introducing economic policies that put the national interest first while staunchly opposing multicultural migration policies.

Writing in Magyar Idők, Csaba Fodor identifies migration, Islamist terrorism, political uncertainty and the revival of separatism as the main political developments of the year in Europe. The pro-government political scientist claims that amidst the multiple waves of crises shaking Europe, Hungarian policies and governance have been predictable and stable. While politicians throughout Europe struggle to form coalition governments, the Hungarian governing parties enjoy strong legitimacy and a firm majority that ensure highly effective governance. Fodor concludes by expressing his hope that the current government will have the opportunity to remain in power and continue to defend European values and lifestyle.

In Népszava, László Lengyel thinks that Hungary along with other Eastern European states has become increasingly anti-democratic. The left-wing pundit calls anti-establishment parties anti-European and attributes their recent success to their anti-immigrant stance. Concerning Hungary’s prospects for the future, Lengyel suspects that in the long run, Hungary will remain on the periphery of Europe. He acknowledges that the economy is growing fast, but ascribes that to EU funding. He accuses the government of weakening the rule of law and democratic norms and predicts that Hungary will thus isolate herself politically, which ultimately will slow down the expansion of the economy. If the country follows the same path, it will never catch up with the more prosperous Western European states, Lengyel concludes.

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