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Right-wing economists also criticize Hungarian government’s economic policies

Economic policies of the ruling Orbán government have been harshly criticized recently by Tamás Mellár, a conservative economist who belongs to the right–wing academic establishment, in an article that appeared in the government friendly daily newspaper, Magyar Nemzet [literally: ”Hungarian Nation”]. Mr. Mellár is a former chairman of the Central Statistical Office [common Hungarian abbreviation: KSH; from 'Központi Statisztikai Hivatal'] and a former research director at Századvég Gazdaságkutató Zrt., a research firm that is closely associated with the governing Fidesz party. In his article, Mr. Mellár urges an immediate and radical shift in the government’s economic policies. The right-wing economist calls for the abolition of the 16 per cent flat tax rate in personal income tax hence advocating progressive taxation, and also the introduction of a wealth tax. ”The exchange rate cap instituted by the government in order to help citizens and enterprises indebted in Swiss franc (CHF) is going to be an outright failure” – wrote  Mr. Mellár. ”The economic policies pursued by the Orbán government were obviously unsuccessful: government policies in the past one and a half years did not manage to spur sustainable economic growth in the country” – the professor noted.
Tamás Mellár is not the only one in the right–wing academia who is critical of the second Orbán government’s economic policies. Mr. Attila Chikán, economy minister during the first Orbán government (from 1998 to 1999), also aired harsh criticism of the current administration’s economic policy measures in an interview with origo.hu, a leading Hungarian online news portal. ”The [economic] policy pursued by current economy minister György Matolcsy – according to which growth should be kick-started by increased domestic consumption – is almost totally unfeasible, and amounts to a 'textbook failure' in case of a small and open economy like that of Hungary” – told Mr. Attila Chikán to the interviewer of origo.hu.
”To maintain Hungary’s financial equilibrium, higher taxes are inevitable” – economist László Csaba, considered as affiliated to the current government, said on Duna TV’s ’Közbeszéd’ show. ”Due to the openness of the country’s economy and the lack of structural reforms, Hungary’s situation is unstable” – he said. ”Hungary has to follow a very strict budget policy in the upcoming years, meaning that austerity measures have to be implemented”; ”but not in the fields of education, health care, public safety or legal certainty”, he added.
Former prime minister Ferenc Gyucsány also commented on the news about anti-government criticisms stemming from economic experts closely associated to the ruling Fidesz party via a Facebook post on Saturday. Mr. Gyurcsány stated that ”an increasing number of economists considered as belonging to the right-wing academic establishment are also declaring a judgment: the economic policies pursued by Orbán in the past one and a half years have obviously failed; there’s a need for a complete turnaround”.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:11

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