20100414

The ill-matched pair Fidesz and Jobbik

Ungern går åt höger Utrikes SvD: "Orban startade sin politiska karriär som politisk sekreterare i kommunistpartiets ungdomsförbund. Men redan innan kommunismens fall 1989 blev han en av reformrörelsens förgrunds- gestalter. 1988 tillhörde han grundarna av Fidesz, ett ursprungligen högerliberalt parti som numera är ett högercenterparti med kristdemokratisk orientering."

Hungary has had an election and Fidesz, led by Victor Orban, the new prime minister, won the first round with 53% of the vote. They might reach a two thirds majority of the seats in the second round on April 25. The socialists, MSZP, that has ruled the last 8 years only got 19%, their worst result ever. However, Jobbik a party that has campaigned on an anti-Roma, anti-Semitic and nationalist/expansive agenda got 17%. A sign of the times was that the green party LMP entered parliament with some 7% of 5% needed.

Fidesz, which last ruled between 1998 and 2002, has promised to create a million jobs, in a 10m country, and to reform a complicated tax system as well as curing the black economy. In 2008 the Socialists had to consult the IMF for a €20bn loan and has thus suffered from the following austerity measures which led to the right shift of politics. It is now important that Hungary makes economic progress during the new leadership so that further interest in the extreme right party Jobbik is not fuelled. Worries in Germany, Hungary's main trade partner, and Britain for the development of this party have been voiced. In December 2009 the party set up a London branch for a collaboration with the British BNP and other European parties for securing EU tax support. Studio Ett, the Swedish radio program, however informed that the small extreme right parties of Europe generally are very local and have had problems of actually forming a coalition in the European parliament such as liberals, socialists and conservatives have done.

Despite the Socialist governing the gap between rich and poor has widened during their reign. The tax increases and lowering of pensions that they had done to conform to the IMF directives ironically have mad people step to the right. The Socialists are leaving 11% unemployment, 6% inflation, a GDP drop 2009 of 6.3%. However, Hungary, due to its good record in science and technology, has had the largest Foreign Direct Investment per capita of the region. €60bn has entered. Western multinationals complain that there are problems with recruitment of people with good language skills in English something that might coincide with the fact that the nationalistic Jobbik party is strong among the young and at universities. A localisation trend that might work against a pro-Western stance.

The party Jobbik describes themselves as a principled, conservative and radically patriotic Christian party. Their web site claim that their anti-Roma stance is just against criminal Roma and that their anti-semitism is rather anti-Israel colonisation. However, their meetings feature para-miliatry looking types with similarity to the Hungarian Arrow Cross fascistic World War II movement. They claim that they are not fascistic. They are allied in the European parliament with the British National Party. Jobbik Chairman Gabor Vona said after the election that they would "conduct a very distinct and very spectacular politics". He also said "we are not going to conduct a peaceful and almost invisible politics with these 17%". There has been a discussion of whether Jobbik is going to scare away external financing and estrange Hungary in the EU.