Hungary and the Orbán government has been being attacked very strongly by the global media ever since the landslide victory of Fidesz in 2010. These attacks are sometimes insanely absurd and they could be characterized quite well by this cartoon published in Le Monde: (In case someone didn’t get it, the seven Nazi dwarfs are Prime Minister Orbán whose height, about 170 cm, that is 5′ 7″, has been a constant source of mockery by the so-called left-wing in Hungary since the 90’s.)
Let’s take an example how this works. A recent vector of attack is that “Hungary is extremely corrupt, corruption under the Orbán government has reached astronomic scales”, etc. (Actually that was very true for the Socialist-Liberal governments between 2002 and 2010.)
In contrast, here are some verifiable facts regarding this topic:
The Orbán government has
- joined the Vienna based International Anti-Corruption Academy as a founding member
- legislated the new Public Procurement Act which, unlike before, excludes offshore companies from public procurement tenders and it gives preferential treatment to small and medium-sized enterprises in public procurement tenders
- introduced a new, unique anti-graft screening scheme
- joined the Open Government Partnership as a founding member, an initiative signed by the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Norway and another five states.
- amended the Freedom of Information Act, starting from 2014, to increase the efficiency of providing data about state organizations
- set up the Anti-Corruption Task Force with the participation of the Ministry for Public Administration and Justice, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Budapest Corvinus University, the Budapest Institute, the Forum of Civic Cooperation, the Council of Geopolitics Foundation, the Magyar Conquest 2000 Society, the Joint Venture Alliance, the K-Monitor Public Association, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ), Transparency International Hungary and atlatszo.hu
The accusations about “the unprecedented level of corruption Hungary has reached under the Orbán government” are continuing and they are going to continue regardless, of course. “They are looking for topics where they can arm-twist [Orbán] and they’ve just started it again, I think” like Vladimir Bukovsky said.
Facts simply don’t matter in these accusations. The hurt toes of big banks, some global corporations, the IMF, the Brussels eurocrats and the more and more desperate postcommunist opposition which has little chance to win the upcoming elections … well, they do!
- Quotable: Transparency International’s József Péter Martin on opaqueness of government policymaking in Hungary (politics.hu)
- Rival rallies mark anti-Soviet uprising in Hungary (worldbulletin.net)
- EU is soft copy of Soviet Union (politicsinhungary.wordpress.com)