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Volodymyr Klitschko condemns Hungarian government’s loyalty to Moscow
According to former world boxing champion, Volodymyr Klitschko, “Hungary’s loyalty towards Russia can still be felt’, he said in an interview given to local online journal Válasz Online. The paper also wanted to know his opinion on the fact that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had not immediately condemned the Bucha massacre, to which he replied:
“Really… who do you think might have done it? Who invaded whom? Maybe we invaded ourselves? Would we have slaughtered our own people to show it to the world, blaming someone else? Bucha was a clear message from the Russian president, and we Ukrainians have been victims of his aggression for more than 50 days. If anyone looks aside and pretends not to see anything, he himself becomes a passive warring party and blood sticks to his hand. ”
Klitschko himself visited the mass graves in Bucha, and added that the Russians' "special military operation" consisted of nothing more than killing Ukrainians. He also spoke about his experience: “Death was silent. Young people lay dead on the streets, a car driven over by a tank, limbs still in the car. (...) I don’t want to recall everything I’ve seen, but there is clear evidence of crimes. Those images, that smell… Total destruction. These are not human things, but depictions of evil itself. And they could show up anywhere. If you think it could never happen to you? You might be mistaken.. "
Although the former champion is currently trying to help Ukraine more in the diplomatic field, he is still willing to fight. He asked Hungarians to support the combat of the Ukrainians by every means possible: “Stand by our side and we will stand by yours! And believe me: we will give back all the support! Just help end the war - because we are also protecting you from the evil that has broken into our country! ”
IMF reduces Hungary's growth prospects
In its World Economic Outlook (WEO) published on Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that Hungary's gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 3.7 percent this year and 3.6 percent next year. These figures are an important slash compared to the latest October report, in which the IMF expected 5.1 percent growth in 2022 after last year’s 7.1 percent expansion.
Inflation could skyrocket to 10.3 percent this year from 5.1 percent last year, up from the 3.6 percent stipulated in October’s report. For 2023, the IMF calculates an inflation rate slowing down to 6.4 percent. The unemployment rate will slightly rise from 4.1 percent last year to 4.3 percent this year, and will come down to 4.2 percent by 2023.
According to the IMF's forecast, Poland will achieve the same economic growth of 3.7 percent this year as Hungary after 5.7 percent last year. In October, the IMF put Poland’s GDP growth at 5.1 percent by 2022. Next year, the growth of the Polish economy may slow down to 2.9 percent. In Poland, after 5.1 percent last year, inflation could be 8.9 percent this year and 10.3 percent next year. The unemployment rate could fall to 3.2 percent this year and 3 percent next year, after 3.5 percent last year.
Regarding Ukraine, the IMF said it currently estimates that GDP could shrink 35 percent this year after last year’s 3.4 percent increase; the IMF did not provide a forecast for any other indicator.
The IMF also predicted that Russia’s GDP could shrink by 8.5 percent this year after a 4.7 percent increase last year, and a further 2.3 percent in 2023. Inflation could be 21.3 percent this year and 14.3 percent next year, after 6.7 percent last year. Unemployment will rise from 4.8 percent last year to 9.3 percent this year, and the rate will fall to 7.8 percent next year.
President Áder convenes opening session of new parliament
According to the regulations, the President of the Republic convened the inaugural session of the Parliament for May 2, within 30 days following the parliamentary elections.
At the inaugural session, the head of state formally calls on the president of the party that won the election to form the new government. On April 3, Fidesz-KDNP won 135 parliamentary seats, which translates into a fourth consecutive win, with a qualified majority of two-thirds of the seats.
At the inaugural session of the parliament, the results of the elections are adopted, by a simple majority.
MPs also elect the Speaker, and the Vice-Presidents of the new parliament, and the personal and organizational conditions of the next four-year term are created. The credentials of elected deputies are confirmed and the deputies take their oaths at the inaugural meeting.
The representatives of opposition party Momentum will not be present, as they are boycotting the meeting.
The opposition alliance, consisting of six parties DK (Left) Jobbik (right), LMP (green), MSZP (socialist), Momentum (liberal) and Párbeszéd (green) received 57 seats.
The far-right Mi Hazánk Mozgalom (Our Homeland Movement) got six seats, one fewer than the count right after the Sunday vote showed.
The representative of the National Self-Government of Germans in Hungary also secured a single seat in parliament, the deputy usually votes alongside Fidesz party-lines.
Freedom House: Albania and Serbia are more advanced democracies than Hungary
Freedom House (FH), an American-based non-profit NGO that monitors the situation of democracy and political freedoms, has released its latest democracy report on the countries of the post-Soviet region.
FH already put Hungary from the democracies to hybrid regimes in 2019, which by definition means that elections are held in the country, but democratic institutions are fragile and political and civil liberties are not enforced in all circumstances.
The sad novelty of this year's report is that for the first time in the 21st century, the dominant regime in the region was the hybrid regime, pushing democracies out.
FH marked 2004 as the start of the democratic decline in the region, and listed four countries that have drifted into this gray zone: Hungary, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia and Serbia.
“The ranks of hybrid regimes have been swollen by elected leaders in erstwhile democracies who abandoned any commitment to liberal democratic principles in their pursuit of a de facto monopoly on power. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary exemplifies this trend, and he has worked actively to propagate likeminded governments across Central and Eastern Europe.
Still playing the good democrat, he allowed competitive elections on April 3 of this year, but he and his Fidesz party pressed the entire state apparatus—along with the politically captured bulk of the civic and media sectors—into service against the opposition,” FH said.
“The vote was consequently not free, let alone fair. Now that Orbán has survived it, he is likely to give full vent to his illiberal and kleptocratic tendencies. Much the same could be said of President Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia, who, along with his Serbian Progressive Party, swept that country’s April 3 elections,” FH added.