Monday, April 26, 2010

Hungary Votes 2010

There are a ton of elections going on in the EU this year. Poland, the UK, Sweden and Hungary are among the countries holding elections this year. While most of the focus has been on the UK, Hungary has just elected a new government. The last government was pretty much doomed from day 1 after the Prime Minister was caught on tape saying he lied to the public about the state of the public purse to get elected. I happened to be in Budapest during the ensuing protests in the fall of 2006 and can't say I'm surprised that the ruling socialist party was reduced to 15% of the vote. Hungary is in dire straits and has been for a while. The country was bailed out by the IMF in 2008. That loan is technically due back in the fall. Greece's problems are probably a larger concern for Europe but the EU never really dealt with the collapses in Hungary and the Baltics in 2008. The amount of help being offered Greece undoubtedly receives a poor response in the streets of Budapest and Riga.

Perhaps most concerning about this election result is the significant showing by the far-right Jobbik party which earned 12% of the vote. That's good for 47 seats and third place in Hungary's parliament. It is chilling to see a party affiliated with racist thugs with that level of support in Europe. When Jobbik received similar support during EU parliamentary elections it was dismissed by some because it was an almost irrelevant election and they would form a tiny part of the parliament. This is harder to dismiss. The spectre of the far right in Europe is real and needs to be confronted.

No comments:

All views expressed in this blog are those of the author and the author alone. They do not represent the views of any organization, regardless of the author's involvement in any organizations.

All comments are the views of the individual writer. The administrator reserves the right to remove commentary which is offensive.

The author is not responsible for nor does he support any of the advertisements displayed on the page