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Steinke, Peter

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Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany | 13/04/2010

Peter Steinke on historical reasons behind Hungary's swing to the right

Crisis-ridden Hungary has swerved to the right after its parliamentary elections. Peter Steinke analyses the reasons for this shift in the left-liberal daily Frankfurter Rundschau: "As part of the defeated Habsburg Empire [Hungary] lost two-thirds of its state territory with the Trianon peace treaty. Millions of Hungarians have lived in these territories as minorities since then. ... Communism made the conflict between sister states a taboo. Moreover the equally authoritarian state socialism failed to implement genuine social modernisation. ... The boom years after the fall of communism made many Hungarians believe they had caught up with the West within just a few years. ... The massive savings deposits that the International Monetary Fund makes a prerequisite for granting bailout loans only enhance the sense of being entirely at the mercy of 'foreign powers' - of the Brussels EU bureaucracy, the multinational companies that dominate Hungary's economy. Above all in the underdeveloped eastern parts of the country the impoverished losers of the system change have turned against their even poorer, marginalised neighbours, the Roma minority."

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