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Exchange over prospects for Fidesz

September 30th, 2021

A left-wing political scientist thinks that sooner or later the EU will cut funds to Hungary, and Fidesz will fall apart in the absence of money to hand out to its allies. A pro-government pundit finds such speculation absurd and describes it as ideologically motivated wishful thinking.

In Népszava, Attila Ágh contends that Fidesz should be regarded, not as a political party grounded in specific values, but as an interest group that aims to control power and money in Hungary. The veteran left-wing political scientist thinks that Fidesz secures loyalty through pork-barrel politics and by creating an informal oligarchic political and economic hinterland. Ágh speculates that after the April election, if it loses, Fidesz’s power will rapidly wane as it will lose control over EU funding, and its ‘modernized dictatorship’ will end. But even if Fidesz wins, the EU is unlikely to continue financing this ‘autocratic zombie democracy’. If the EU decides to punish Hungary before the election, the Fidesz machine may start to erode even faster, Ágh speculates.

Magyar Nemzet’s György Pilhál finds Ágh’s suggestions absurd and groundless. The pro-government commentator recalls that Ágh was a respected Marxist political scientist even under the Kádár regime, and has been predicting the imminent fall of Fidesz since 2010. In light of this, Pilhál cautions against taking Ágh’s speculations seriously.

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