Just a single year has passed since the introduction of the infamous shop closure law in Hungary, but the Fidesz-led right-wing government had already withdrew the regulation that forbade most retail outlets to open and serve customers on Sundays.
The Republikon Institute has recently conducted its monthly public opinion poll for the second time. The survey was conducted in days both preceding and succeeding the Brussels attacks, on a sample representative from the aspects of gender, age, level of education and type of settlement.
Since 1993, the great majority of public institutions have been managed by local governments. The introduction of KLIK (Klebelsberg Institution Maintenance Centre) led to a myriad of changes in the everyday life of every teacher and student. Financial centralization has transformed previously easy everyday tasks into heavily bureaucratic and difficult.
Since the middle of January, the question of conscription has been in the center of public attention in Hungary. Leader of the parliamentary group of Fidesz expressed plans to change the current system but did not mention any exact agenda. The majority of opposition parties immediately objected the idea.
Hungarian educational institutions have been struggling with insufficient funding for a long time. Yet, the reforms aiming to tackle these challenges ended up damaging the education system. Tension is increasing between teachers and the government, with no solution in sight.
One thing Hungarian citizens, businessmen and politicians all agree on, is that rampant corruption is one of the main problems of the country. This situation calls for the increased transparency of government institutions, and for providing easily accessible information regarding the handling of public funds.
The conclusion for the Hungarian opposition shall therefore be quite obvious: they need to find an answer to the abovementioned economic needs. The refugee crisis may dominate the public discussion for now, but everyday lives of the voters are defined by the worsening economic situation and the fear of wash-out.
Hungarian citizens can be more engaged and active in politics, though it is not certain, whether the Podemos-model as a whole can be simply copied. There are differences in the political culture as well as taste, not to mention that for many the radical rightist Jobbik is also an acceptable anti-regime alternative.
The 15th of March is a time of national celebration and pride in Hungary. In 1848 on this day, the Hungarian people rose up against Habsburg overlords and started a revolution to fight for liberties. This year, the country was divided between two main celebrations.
Zoltán Kész’s victory shattered the two third majority of governing party Fidesz in the parliament. Using this supermajority, the government has implemented a new constitution and new laws curtailing the freedom of speech, human rights and the power of the constitutional court since 2010. Hungary has also become fearfully friendly with Russia regardless of the growing tensions between the EU and Putin.