Orban’s tax policy had two objectives. The first was to bolster the public purse and pay down Hungary’s inflated debt burden; the second was to rebalance the ratio between foreign and Hungarian capital.
- Set against the backdrop of sleepy Danubian Europe, Hungary has, in recent months, returned to being at the centre of international attention. What has brought the spotlight back onto Budapest are two laws, passed one soon after the other, which have resulted in conspiracy talk of a deliberate attack on academic freedom and the world of NGOs.
- On June 17th the Hungarian government decided to close its border with Serbia, securing it with metal fencing all along its 175 kilometres. Controversy is rampant. The Serbian government is outraged, with the press reporting on yet another wall in the European fortress. Associations active in the field of migrants’ human rights have, euphemistically speaking, expressed perplexity. According to the Hungarian government, closing the border will stop the flow of migrants that has affected the country in recent months. They almost all transit through Serbia, a fundamental part of the “Balkan route.” Migrants also travel to Europe by land. Frontex, the European agency responsible for monitoring and controlling borders, has reported that, in the first six months of 2015, the same number of people have arrived in Europe from the two Mediterranean routes (one leading to Sicily and the other to Greece) and from the Balkans, amounting to 50,000 migrants.