Hungary

Right-wing Hungarian prime minister, Victor Orbán has received a blow as a wave of protests has spread throughout the country. The protests have been triggered by a new piece of legislation, labelled the “slave law”, which was passed on 12 December. This vicious attack on Hungarian workers will allow employers to increase the amount of overtime they can ask of workers from 250 to 400 hours per year, which equates to roughly eight hours per week. Not only this, but there can be a delay in

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Last Sunday, Hungarians went to the polls following a campaign period the likes of which has been unseen since the fall of Stalinism. One of the functions of bourgeois democracy is to create a false sense of participation. Previous elections were generally conducted in an atmosphere of anticipation, with the public following debates between political parties in the media, and discussing developments on street corners and at work. The people felt they had some say over their destinies. In

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On Sunday 2 October, Hungary held a national referendum over the mandatory resettlement of refugees in the country. The Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, had hoped to use the vote to strengthen his authority both at home and abroad. Instead, he has suffered arguably his most embarrassing setback since he came to power in 2010.

The 13th of February 2016 is likely to go down in history as the awakening of the working class and the beginning of the class struggle in 21st century Hungary. Tens of thousands of people gathered in front of the Hungarian Parliament building demanding the abandonment of all educational “reforms” of the last 5 years.  In spite of pouring rain thousands and thousands marched proudly, showing concern not just for education, but for the health service, for transport, against

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Currently Hungary is in the limelight, hardly a news report anywhere in the world goes by without images of thousands of refugees entering the country, trying to board trains out of the country, suffering ill treatment at the hands of the Hungarian authorities. Contrastingly, there are also pictures of volunteers helping or trying to help desperate families camping out in railways stations, walking on the sides of motorways or along railway lines.

The right-wing FIDESZ (Young Democrats’ Union) of Viktor Orbán have once again won the elections in Hungary. However, due to the very high levels of abstention, in reality only 25% of the electorate actually voted for them, most people being utterly disgusted with politicians in general.

Hungary has been in the news lately and while a fully fledged dictatorial regime is nowhere near established yet, the steps that Viktor Orbán’s FIDESZ (Alliance of Young Democrats) government had been taking for the last 3 years point in no other direction by concentrating more and more power in the hands of the executive and neutralising or weakening all the existing counterbalancing powers within the state and society. In other words we have been witnessing a prolonged shift towards

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“In the space of twenty years, in a throwback to eighty years ago, millions believe the racist, chauvinist ‘ideas’ of the 1930’s.” writes Attila Csernok in Népszava, a Hungarian liberal daily. Is the situation in present day Hungary that critical? Does the election of the Fidesz government in April 2010 by a two thirds majority mean a return to the horrors of 1930’s Hungary?

The Hungarian presidency of the EU ended on 30th June and life is supposed to be getting back to normal all over the country.  Or is it? The population of Hungary, that elected the right-wing FIDESZ/KDNP government just over a year ago with a two thirds majority, very soon discovered what such a government really meant.

Recent opinion polls show that a majority of Hungarians find life so miserable that they would like to live somewhere else. Many consider that life was much better before 1989 when people enjoyed full employment and an advanced welfare system. Capitalism has destroyed all that. However, as our correspondent points outs, what existed before was not genuine socialism, but a Stalinist regime that people rose up against. What is required is state ownership and planning, but under the democratic

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Overnight the world has woken up to intimate knowledge of the process of extracting aluminium from bauxite and its by-product the red mud, which devastated several villages, including Kolontár and Devecser, in the SouthWest of Hungary on Monday, 4th October 2010, bringing with it a long term threat of environmental pollution in several countries.

Hungary is not normally a place with a lot of strike action, not nowadays at least. However, one firm down in the Southern sandy parts of the country is facing a courageous fight by its workforce.


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As the realities of capitalist crisis are biting deeper into the Hungarian economy, more and sections of the working class are beginning to mobilise and take strike action.

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Hungary is beginning to feel the effects of the general crisis affecting worldwide capitalism. On Saturday a demonstration of 10,000 public sector workers could be the first step towards a major strike in January.

Hungary is preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1956 uprising. The Stalinists in the past presented that movement as reactionary. Today's regime is trying to usurp the banner of 1956, falsifying completely what really happened. It is our duty to explain what really happened. The heroes of 1956 were trying to build a democratic workers' state and genuine socialism.


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As could be expected, the Socialist Party (MSZP) and their coalition partners the Free Democrats (FDSZ) lost heavily in the recent council elections in Hungary. The problem is the people know what they are voting against but have no real alternative to vote for.Both main political blocs offer the same austerity programme. A genuine Left alternative is required.

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Last week’s rioting in Hungary drew the attentions of the world’s mass media. Some even tried to compare it to that glorious moment in the history of the Hungarian working class in 1956, when attempts were made to move towards genuine workers’ democracy. But all that is false. Today’s rioting has a reactionary content, the result of a terrible austerity programme, but with no genuine Left alternative being presented to the masses.

23rd October sees the anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. That movement of the Hungarian masses signified the culmination of the growing discontent evident in Eastern Europe at the time.


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The elections held in Hungary in April this year have given a slim majority to a social democrat-liberal coalition, ousting the incumbent centre-right government of Viktor Orbán who was forecast to win another term in office. Our correspondent in Hungary looks at the real situation facing workers today.

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Hungary put in a GDP growth of 6.8% in the first quarter of the year 2000 and expects a rate of growth of 5-5.5% by the end of the year. These are impressive figures, which any visitor seeing signs of a building boom, lots of new cars on the streets and a well-dressed, well-fed population would quickly confirm. Is the advent of capitalism bringing the horn of plenty to Hungary or is the picture somewhat less straight forward?

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We are republishing this article on the electoral victory of the former Stalinists in Hungary in 1994, first published in Socialist Appeal issue 23, July 1994. Following the trend of much of Eastern Europe Hungary in 1994 placed back in power the leaders and parties it had rejected just five years earlier. This article explains the background to the Socialists' victory.

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We are republishing this article on the effects of the transition to capitalism in Hungary first published in Socialist Appeal issue 20, March 1994. "Miles and miles of closed factories greeted me as I travelled into Budapest. The contrast in downtown Budapest could not have been sharper. The swish, but very expensive shops and well dressed shoppers made me feel I had risen out of the Metro into a different world. The advent of capitalism has produced a polarisation of the...

On March 21st, 1919, the Hungarian Soviet Republic was proclaimed. On the 1st of August, 133 days later, this heroic chapter in the history of the Hungarian working class was brought to a close with the entry of the White Rumanian army into Budapest. Had the Hungarian proletariat succeeded, the isolation of the Russian Workers' Republic would have been brought to an end.

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