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“There were too many promises made during the campaign and no one knows where the money would be coming from,” economist Laszlo Lengyel told state-run radio.
Share prices took a dive at the opening of Monday’s session as investors dumped stocks, signaling anxiety over the new conservative coalition. The BUX index of 20 major shares closed at 7274.34, down 8.7 percent from Friday’s close of 7967.05.
Under Prime Minister Gyula Horn of the Socialist Party, Hungary sharply reduced its foreign debt, privatized most state-owned industries and was among the first former communist countries set to join NATO. It also is a front-runner to be invited into the European Union.
But hardship grew at home as inflation and unemployment climbed. Millions of Hungarians still live at or below the poverty line.
The lead of the Young Democrats-Civic Party, Viktor Orban, is expected to form a coalition with the Independent Smallholders Party, which has 48 seats, and the Hungarian Democratic Forum, with 17 seats.
The leader of the Smallholders, Jozsef Torgyan, is known for his big-money campaign promises — including scrapping university tuition fees and highway tolls, cutting taxes, developing neglected regions and building low-cost housing.
The far-right Hungarian Truth and Life Party, led by Istvan Csurka and known for its Nazi-style salutes and mass rallies, got 14 seats, alarming Central Europe’s largest Jewish community — and many other Hungarians.