Ties to big business and shadowy businessmen have always been a contentious issue in post transition political discourse, but Fidesz excelled at lambasting its predecessor as the ‘banker’s government’. Since the resignation of a junior minister, József Ángyán who alleges that oligarchs with strong ties to Fidesz have swept up profitable land holdings sold by the state, Fidesz has been struggling with the critical attention on its own relationship with Hungary’s superrich. The opposition is naturally trying to make Ángyán’s charges and the whole notion of Fidesz being beholden to the oligarchy stick, and the numerous influential billionaires near Fidesz and Orbán offer fertile grounds for this line of attack. Fidesz has responded to these criticisms with a provocative idea: by threatening to withhold public funding from political parties, it will leave the opposition little alternative but to cultivate billionaire supporters of their own.
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Policy Solutions is a progressive political research institute based in Budapest. It was founded in 2008 and it is committed to the values of liberal democracy, solidarity, equal opportunity and European integration. The focus of Policy Solutions’ work is on understanding political processes in Hungary and the European Union. Among the pre-eminent areas of our research are the investigation of how the quality of democracy evolves, the analysis of factors driving euroscepticism, populism and the far-right, and election research.
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