Ambassadors of nine countries (the United States, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Norway, and Switzerland) wrote a joint letter to Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai complaining about corruption and the unfriendly attitude toward foreign investors. Népszabadság wrote that one diplomat told their reporter, "Don't think that the addressee is Bajnai!" Surely it was a warning to Fidesz, the party most likely to be in charge of Hungary for the next four years. In the letter they mentioned foreign investments in utility companies–obviously referring to the case of Suez versus the new Fidesz mayor of Pécs, the treatment of foreign companies in the entertainment industry (Radios Danubius and Sláger), and finally foreign companies involved in building Hungary's infrastructure.
The current government did not initiate any of these problems. As far as the fate of the two radio stations was concerned, the government was on the side of the German and American owners but was unable to prevent the "deal." Fidesz, on the other hand, successfully prevented the construction of a tire factory in Gyöngyös, launched a campaign against the privatization of health insurance, stopped a deal to build a casino near the Slovak border, and one could continue. All this didn't go unnoticed.
Such a move was a very serious warning and quite unusual, especially since the letter was not only sent to Gordon Bajnai via diplomatic channels but was also made public. The ambassadors, it seems, wanted to make sure that the real addressee would get the message. Gordon Bajnai reacted immediately and invited the ambassadors for a private conversation. Fidesz naturally put all the blame on the government and predicted that Bajnai would have a lot of explaining to do.
Put it this way. I wouldn't like to be in Bajnai's place. After all, he is the prime minister and in the final analysis he is responsible for everything that happens in the country. At the same time, the central goverment by law is prevented from meddling in local affairs. As for corruption, the government has few resources to ferret out shady business deals between foreign companies and lower Hungarian officials. As far as I know, when Gordon Bajnai was in charge of European Union monies he tried everything in his power to prevent fraud and corruption. How successful he was, I don't know, but it is clear that corruption is rampant on all levels. The government just lately offered assistance to employees who would be willing to report suspected wrongdoing in their companies. The idea, I assume, came from the United States where the whistleblower law was enacted some years ago. The initial Hungarian reaction was negative because of the fear that some people would misuse the opportunity to get even with people whom they dislike. They also claimed that Hungarians like to report on others as it is. It shouldn't be encouraged. However, it seems that the government is going ahead with the plan to introduce the law in Hungary.
Fidesz, already bruised by the IMF's reaction to a higher budget deficit, cannot afford to go against foreign investors who are so essential for Hungary's economic growth and development. Viktor Orbán might change his tactics once he is in power. Or at least one hopes so.