Amateurish, volatile, disastrous

When Viktor Orbán’’s new government took power two years ago, it inherited a great many problems from its predecessors: having only just escaped bankruptcy, Hungary had to be rescued from the stranglehold of socialist-liberal mismanagement, the quagmire of a corrupt political coterie, the growing entanglement of state and organised crime, and a complete political stalemate. Although Orbán had not offered a programme to tackle all this, in April 2010 the Hungarian electorate gave his party a comfortable majority that was translated into a two-thirds majority in parliament. The Alliance of Young Democrats, abbreviated as Fidesz in Hungarian, immediately set to […]

Arrival of the Left

Holidays are very important for the spiritual equilibrium of our society, Slovak bishop Stanislav Zvolenský declared, responding to the news that the newly-elected Slovak government  is contemplating cutting down the number of state holidays on the grounds that they slow down the economy. However, this spiritual equilibrium seems more like torpor, into which Slovak society has slid thanks to a new kind of holiday – a day off politics. The overwhelming victory of Smer in the March elections allowed the left of centre party to form a majority government and was met with an astonished silence, ringing with the unspoken […]