Fidesz’ vast political coalition was bursting at the seams right from the start. Now the government has put an axe to large portions of the coalition, by cutting benefits and services that affect hundreds of thousands of citizens. Especially citizens in an economically vulnerable position are likely to turn against Fidesz. Though the political price of these measures will probably be high, Fidesz figures that inaction would be costlier still. It is far from clear whether these measures will give the economy sufficient impetus to balance its detrimental political effects, but Fidesz is finally engaged in some of the far-reaching reforms that economists have demanded.
Prior to the elections, Fidesz had constructed the broadest coalition of voters conceivable. It outperformed the opposition by wide margins in every demographic. What was clear was that this coalition was politically unsustainable. Fidesz had successfully managed to avoid antagonising any major group of voters by defending all and every kind of benefits and supports, promising new ones and pledging to set public finance on a course of sustainability. These commitments were clearly at least to some degree mutually exclusive, and the global financial and economic crisis has rendered Fidesz’ various positions even more incompatible with each other.
Policy Solutions' analysis on the government's austerity measures affecting the poorest segments of Hungary can be downloaded from here.
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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