Analyst Says: Hungarian PM Orbán’s Criticism Of Liberalism Misconstrued

  • 30 Jul 2014 9:00 AM
Analyst Says: Hungarian PM Orbán’s Criticism Of Liberalism Misconstrued
The prime minister in his weekend speech slammed by the opposition did not say he wanted to reverse basic rights or Hungary’s liberal democracy but, rather, he gave a critique of the problems associated with the western liberal model, political scientist András Lánczi told public radio.

Lánczi, who is the head of Budapest Corvinus University’s political science institute, told Kossuth Radio that liberal democratic principles in Hungary were well established and these were not at stake. What Viktor Orbán was in fact saying in his speech in Baile Tusnad (Tusnádfürdő) in central Romania was that the social market economy was at a crossroads.

“We have struggled with freemarket capitalism for the last 200 years,” Lánczi, who is also the head of the Századvég think-thank, said. “Either we say we approach this in a state-based way or we leave everything to the market ... Let’s note that no one has ever experimented with the latter.”

Speaking before several thousand people at the 25th Bálványos summer university and student camp at the weekend, the prime minister said the liberal, welfare-based systems in the west had had their day and a new labour-based “non-liberal” model was needed.


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MTI photo: Beliczay László

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