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Worries over Hungarian democracy hit international headlines

Concerns about the erosion of Hungarian democracy have appeared in the international press.

The online edition of British conservative daily The Times said on Tuesday that the governing Fidesz party has taken almost all formerly independent state institutions under control since its election victory in 2010 and now has put the central bank into the firing line.

Swiss daily Tages Anzeiger shares this opinion. Its article entitled “Running fast to dictatorship” said that Viktor Orbán and Fidesz have put the country under the control of a “small circle of friends” in the past one-and-a-half years. The government puts vassals into all important positions and protects their seats by providing extra-long mandates.

Hungary possibly might “taste” bankruptcy even before Greece does so, Slovakian liberal daily the Sme said in its article entitled “Orbán, the kamikaze”. It would be a surprise, Sme continues, if Hungary will get through the year 2012 without facing bankruptcy while still having Orbán as Prime Minister.

“Hungary in fear” was the title of Paul Lendvai’s article published on Tuesday in Austrian liberal daily Der Standard. Lendvai calls Orbán Hungary’s de facto autocrat.

French left-wing daily Libération also paints dark vision of the future of the Hungarian democracy. Its article entitled “Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian King Ubu” focuses on the election law. The law, passed by Parliament on Friday, December 23, enables the governing Fidesz party to get 75% of the Parliamentary seats even if chosen only by the 25% of the voters, Libération said.