Data / I dare you to do business in Hungary...

Damage: 28% pandemic, 72% Orbán

The local authority of Terézváros, a Budapest district, shared data about the pandemic economic damage. 28% of the losses come from the disappearance of tourism and hospitality – 72% come from Orbán’s punishment of opposition cities.


The Budapest district, Terézváros, has voted against Orbán in the 2019 municipal elections. It is therefore on the list of cities that must die, while watching loyalist cities get lavished in billions. (The tiny village of Tokaj – population: 3900 – recieved the equivalent of half of Budapest’s annual budget as a gift for loyalty. All from EU funds – so thanks, Brussels.) 

Terézváros shared a calculation of the budgetary losses they incur in 2021. The bottom row represents the missed revenues from tourism and hospitality – tourism tax and fees paid by restaurants with outdoor seating – amounting to 800 million forints (roughly 2.2 million euros). The majority of the loss, however, comes from Orbán’s punishing measures against opposition cities, designed to strangle them financially with the excuse of the pandemic.  

72% of the missed revenues will be missed because of Orbán’s explicit will to make opposition cities suffer and never dare to vote against him again. He has until April 2022 to drive the message home and there is no reason why he would stop. These measures include the cancellation of the local business taxes, the ban on charging parking fees (because Covid, you know) and the waiving of car taxes. And of course no state contribution, but that goes without saying. Public money is Orbán’s money and it can only go to loyalists. 

These are just the preliminary calculations but according to today’s state of the law, Budapest will become insolvent by November. Not bad for producing half of the country’s GDP. But laws change every minute and always in one direction. I would be shocked if Orbán’s pit bulls wouldn’t come up with new ways to take money from opposition entities. They seem to be in a loyalty contest over it. 

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