Guest Commentary 4

Hungary: The Truth Behind The Riots


©2006  Oscar Szomor


Socialist Prime Minister, Ferenc Gyurcsany admitted the validity of a recording of his speech during a Hungarian Socialist Party meeting on May 26, 2006. Part of the recording was played on a Hungarian Radio Station on Sunday, September 17, 2006. In the speech the PM admitted that in order to secure reelection in April 2006 he and his government lied about the real extent of the Hungarian state budget deficit. The pre-election target of deficit was set at 4.7%, however it is set now to be 10.1%.


In the recording he stated that “we made people believe that they have nothing to do, that we will give them happiness as a gift. We have to stop the deluge of lies which have covered the country for many years.”  There are speculations of what prompted the leak of the recording. The government has been introducing new measures to curtail the budget deficit in recent months: increasing taxes, reducing the size of the government, increasing the cost of energy and utility, etc. Some in the Socialist Party believe that the measures are too harsh.  As local elections are scheduled for October 1, 2006 the center right opposition party (FIDESZ) is gaining momentum as many citizens lost their trust in the socialist government.


Thousands of people have been peacefully protesting in front of the Parliament building every night since last Sunday, September 17th. They demand the resignation of the PM as they do not believe that the socialist-liberal government is telling the truth now or ever. Large crowds also started riots since late Sunday  night when a large crowed stormed the central building of the state run television station MTV (Magyar TV) forcing it off the air. The rioters set cars and public trash cans on the street on fire, which continued for three nights.


Hungary is in a situation that will require economic reforms to reduce the government’s deficit. Now, that the lies are discovered it is yet to be seen whether this government will be able to survive and whether they will continue the economic reforms. Many of those people who believed and voted for the socialist-liberal party (government employees, retirees, etc) are the ones who will hurt the most by the reforms. However, without these reforms Hungary, which is in the European Union, will not be able to meet the requirements to adopt the euro as its currency. At the time the socialist-liberals won the elections in 2002 Hungary was expected to meet the criteria by 2010 now analysts believe that it will not happen until 2014. The country is in a downward spiral now economically it will require a lot of hard adjustments to turn it around. 


When will the citizens of Hungary realize that the socialist-liberal government only knows how to spend and borrow money? The longer this realization takes the deeper in deficit the country will spiral economically.



Oscar Szomor is a conservative political activist out of Scarsdale, NY. He was born and raised in Hungary and immigrated to the United States in 1988 and is now a US citizen. He is married and has a son. He is in Real Estate Management.