‘Orbanomics’: A Miracle for Hungary, or a Mirage?

‘Orbanomics’: A Miracle for Hungary, or a Mirage? SIKLOSNAGYFALU, Hungary — In seeking re-election, Hungary’s far-right prime minister, Viktor Orban, claims to have conjured an economic miracle since taking office eight years ago. One village shows he is right — and wrong.
After winning power in 2010, Mr. Orban implemented a vast workfare program in which menial tasks have been given to hundreds of thousands of jobseekers — including 73 of the 472 residents of Siklosnagyfalu, a village near the southern border.
As a result, there are roughly half as many jobseekers in the village as there were before Mr. Orban took office. (Over the same period, the national unemployment rate has fallen to 3.8 percent from 11.4 percent.)
But the woolly nature of the jobs program in Siklosnagyfalu and hundreds of similar towns has left critics asking whether all is really as it seems — and whether workfare participants are really working.
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