The “Coronavirus Law” adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on March 30 did not only enable Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to govern by decree for an unlimited period of time, but also suspended elections and referendums. With the passing of the emergency law, the parliament had disempowered itself.
With the introduction of a travel ban for its own citizens, the Czech measures to contain the corona epidemic have so far been among the strictest in Europe. Two weeks ago, the Prague City Court overturned four measures taken by the Czech Ministry of Health that restricted the free movement of citizens and retailers. A number of lawyers believe that this ruling increases the chances of businessmen and entrepreneurs to claim compensation from the state….
The increasingly autocratic tendencies observed in Poland and Hungary during the COVID-19 crisis have alarmed the EU. With street protests currently banned, human rights activists fear that the pandemic will be used by national conservative governments to consolidate their power and undermine democracy and human rights.
The Chinese Communist Party was given the opportunity to show how the common future should look like. The Chinese propaganda machine claims that China has demonstrated its ability to respond to the health crisis and that European countries could also benefit from China’s experience.
To stop the coronavirus, most countries ceased almost all economic and social activities. As a first response to prevent an exponential growth of cases, this was probably justified. However, we will not be able to bear the costs of such a complete shutdown for a very long time.
The restructuring of the state in a latently authoritarian direction is being pushed even further. The government’s worrying trend is particularly evident in the way it is trying to instrumentalize the COVID-19 crisis for the upcoming presidential elections on May 10.
On March 30, 2020, the Hungarian Parliament passed the so-called “Enabling Act”. In the future, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will, therefore, be able to govern by decree without parliamentary approval. Despite the spread of the new coronavirus, this shouldn’t have happened.
The eagerly awaited parliamentary elections in Slovakia are all over. Igor Matovič, the expected new Slovakian Prime Minister, became the clear winner with his anti-corruption movement “Ordinary People and Independent Personalities” (OĽaNO).
Only about 16 months ago, the minority government led by Marjan Šarec and his liberal party LMŠ, which only held 43 of 90 seats in parliament, came to power. The center-left coalition consisted of the LMŠ, the Social Democrats, the liberal party SMC, the party of Alenka Bratušek (SAB) and the Pensioners’ Party.