Is there a dictatorship in Hungary?
This is the question often asked by western media. Without implying that foreign media can’t have a proper insight in a country’s life, I have to say my short answer to the above mentioned question would be: yes.
This is no North Korean “kill everyone” type of dictatorship in Hungary, nope… As Hungary is part of the European Union and the NATO, it is impossible to have such a lovely thing.
So for now, everyone is safe and sound. The only problem being constantly present is: the politics of Orbán Viktor (as the dictator) has a heavy influence on every day life – especially business life.
Money Is Everything (?)
While it is true that some services in Hungary are cheap, most products have the same price as in any western country.
Since money has always been the center of business culture, it is important to note that most of the laws and policies Mr. Orbán issued in the past 4+ years were always about new taxes that were aimed to attack foreign businesses present in Hungary so that some Hungarian companies can gain advantage over them.
This seems like an absolutely romantic idea to help Hungarian companies thrive and this makes Mr. Orbán the greatest patriot ever.
Unfortunately for him, there are allegations (backed up by evidence) brought to everyone’s attention by the local media, showing that these new laws only benefit certain friends of Mr. Orbán.
Family, Family, Family…
While there are people comparing Mr. Orbán’s government to Italian mafia families, my personal opinion leads me to compare this new Hungary to an Arabic princedom with one family in the center and all connections are based on this principle.
The obvious question obviously is that ‘is this a bad policy?’
Business is all about networking and making friends, why would such a thing bother people? Are they envious of Mr. Orbán and friends?
Not necessarily: people wish to be rich and big movie stars yet nobody organizes protests about Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt.
However the average citizen can get extremely irritated by experiencing lower and lower living standards.
Since taxes are getting higher, salaries are getting lower (due to taxation), I believe, it is easy to imagine people getting angrier about all the obviously faulty policies.
Yet, in spite all of these issues, Mr. Orbán’s party, FIDESZ, got 2/3 majority in the parliament for another 4 years.
How did they achieve this with bad policies and over-taxing people and companies?
The answer is simple: nobody wants to be a politician. Therefore Hungary doesn’t have any alternative to the current government.
On another note, often, people like Mr. Orbán and look up to him as if he was the country’s dear leader – hence my obvious reference to North Korea.
Long Live the King
Why can Mr. Orbán act as a king seemingly not bothering anyone with it?
The answer is fairly simple after looking at Hungary’s 1000 old history: it has only been a democracy for the past 25 years. People still expect to look up to a king; it is customary.
One man or woman can be loved or hated but people don’t have any experience in loving or hating a ‘system’.
Up to Date (?)
This concludes my little theory about the current situation in Hungary. In the future you can expect some follow-up posts because it seems, life in Hungary has gotten fairly interesting since the last elections.
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