Faced with a dire economic outlook, the Orbán government undermined those best positioned to help — municipal governments.
Corruption risks in Hungarian procurement reached their highest level since 2005 during the COVID-19 crisis, according to a new report published by the Corruption Research Centre Budapest (CRCB). The big winner is Prime Minister Orbán’s straw man.
On March 31, the Hungarian parliament voted to grant extraordinary emergency powers to its government, enabling the Orbán administration to rule by decree, and to jail anyone accused of distorting the truth for up to five years. The law passed without a sunset clause — it will remain in effect until the end of the pandemic, which will be up to the government to decide. With this, Hungary became the first country where a government used the pandemic as an excuse to infinitely expand its powers. The specifics of how these powers are used are important, because Hungary has been a testing lab for post-truth authoritarian regimes for years. Here is a review of what happened since then.