Hungary has been in the news lately and while a fully fledged dictatorial regime is nowhere near established yet, the steps that Viktor Orbán’s FIDESZ (Alliance of Young Democrats) government had been taking for the last 3 years point in no other direction by concentrating more and more power in the hands of the executive and neutralising or weakening all the existing counterbalancing powers within the state and society. In other words we have been witnessing a prolonged shift towards authoritarian rule by Orbán, the legal framework of which is represented by a series of constitutional “reforms” aimed at entrenching FIDESZ into power.
The fall of Stalinism in Hungary was followed by a feeding frenzy resulting in the looting of state assets way above the “normal” level seen in Eastern and Central Europe. The first conservative MDF (Hungarian Democratic Forum) government (1990-1994) practically sold the entire family silver for peanuts, mostly to imperialist multinationals, banks and utility companies. And while this high level legalised looting took place, the government of József Antall (MDF) turned a blind eye to its domestic version where land, property, factories and all manner of state assets were passed into private hands, primarily by corrupt means and also for a song – establishing the current strata of home grown millionaires and billionaires, Viktor Orbán amongst them.