country in Central Europe
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Hungary is a landlocked country in East-Central Europe, bordering the Balkan Peninsula. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The country's capital and largest city is Budapest. Hungary is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the Visegrád Group, and the Schengen Area. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken non-Indo-European language in Europe. It is currently ruled by the right-wing party Fidesz, its current head of state is President Katalin Novák, and its current head of government is Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Hungary is a member of the Schengen Area and the EU single market.

Quotes edit

  • Around the same time, communism in Central and Eastern Europe finally fell, but its economic rivalry with capitalism had, of course, long since been decided. It’s easy to think that these countries were never close to the market economies, but in 1950 countries such as the Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary had a GDP per capita about a quarter higher than poor Western countries such as Spain, Portugal and Greece. In 1989, the eastern states were nowhere close. The eastern part of Germany was richer than West Germany before World War II. When the Berlin Wall fell on 9 November 1989, East Germany’s GDP per capita was not even half that of West Germany’s. Of these countries, those that liberalized the most have on average developed the fastest and established the strongest democracies. An analysis of twenty-six post-communist countries showed that a 10 per cent increase in economic freedom was associated with a 2.7 per cent faster annual growth. Political and economic institutions have improved the most in the Central and Eastern European countries that are now members of the EU, not least the Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Today, they are some of the freest countries in the world and have more than tripled average incomes since independence. But one can also observe a recent reformer like Georgia. It was seen as an economic basket case, but after the Rose Revolution in 2003 it increased per capita incomes almost threefold and cut extreme poverty rates by almost two-thirds.
    • Johan Norberg, The Capitalist Manifesto: Why the Global Free Market Will Save the World (2023)
  • There was a hierarchy of material conditions in the communist world. The Yugoslavs, with the closest commercial links with the West, did best in the range and quality of goods available. Next came the East Germans, followed by the Hungarians and the Poles. Citizens of the USSR trailed in after them; and, still more galling to Russian national pride, the Georgians and Estonians in the Soviet Union enjoyed better conditions than those available to the Russians. The stereotypical Georgian, in the Russian popular imagination, was a swarthy ‘Oriental’ who smuggled oranges in large suitcases from his collective farm to the large cities of the RSFSR. That fruit could be an item of internal contraband speaks volumes about communism’s economic inefficiency.
    • Robert Service, Comrades: A History of World Communism (2009)
  • Hungary is now a small country, but she is, as D. H. Lawrence said of Balzac, a gigantic dwarf, with an interest far beyond her size and the remoteness of her language.
  • Czechoslovakia and Hungary were the most developed of the countries the Red Army occupied after 1944. Before 1918, Hungary had been a key part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which dominated central Europe. During World War II, its authoritarian Right-wing government had allied itself with Nazi Germany, with disastrous consequences as the war ended. The Soviets shot their way through eastern Hungary to the capital, Budapest, which was then subjected to a devastating siege. When the Hungarian government tried to arrange a cease-fire, local Fascists rebelled and fought on alongside the Germans until the German surrender in May 1945. Even more than its neighbors, the Hungarians had got the short end of the stick: not only had the country been devastated by war, but its elites had not managed to change sides in time. As a result, Hungary was occupied not only by the Red Army, but by the Romanians, with whom the country had a number of overlapping territorial claims.
    • Odd Arne Westad, The Cold War: A World History (2017)

External links edit

  Encyclopedic article on Hungary on Wikipedia