Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hungarian Revolt

Just as preparations are gearing up for the commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the 1956 freedom revolution in Hungary and its brutal repression by Soviet forces there is another rebellion brewing in Budapest.

The words used by Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany when he described Socialist election tactics at an internal meeting are indeed extraordinary.

He said that the government had been lying day and night in order to win the election and remain in power. And there is indeed a stark contrast between the rosy picture presented before the election and the brutal realities of not least a disastrous situation in the public finances.

While this is no excuse for violence in the streets, it is hardly surprising that there are strong reactions.

In a broader sense we can see what is now happening as a sign that some of the easier days in the transition in Central Europe are now over.

High levels of expenditure have been financed by income from privatizations, and when this is no longer possible to the same extent as before, the task of tackling the growing deficits becomes more difficult.

I have been writing here before about the Hungarian situation, warning that it might be heading for a very difficult situation. The Prime Ministers remarks and the violent reactions they have caused have now accelerated that development.

And there is only one way of relieving the situation.

To tell the thruth - and stop lying.

And to undertake the harsh budget cut-backs necessary.