In the ten months leading up to Sunday’s parliamentary election Prime Minister Viktor Orban spoke at no fewer than 43 ground-breaking and ribbon-cutting ceremonies around the country, according to origo.hu. A number of them were large public projects undertaken by Budapest or major provincial cities involving substantial EU funding in the form of grants. Others were private investments undertaken by companies with whom the Orban government concluded cooperation agreements over the past four years.
Ribbon cutting ceremonies held over the past ten days include a number of high-profile projects in Budapest, home to one-fifth of Hungary’s population and half the political base of the political opposition, including the completion of the M4 metro and the renovation of the long-neglected castle garden bazaar, a Baroque structure overlooking the Danube (pictured below) that had long been an eye-sore. Its renovation was reported to have been 100 percent financed by the EU.
There can be little doubt that the completion and delivery of an astonishing range of projects was deliberately timed to take place in the months and weeks leading up to Sunday’s election. The number of major public projects completed recently has been nothing short of astonishing and should dispel the image of official incompetence arising from earlier projects undertaken by this government, such as the failed 80 unit public housing project for victims of bank foreclosure undertaken in Ocsa.
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