Hungary votes today, although with the Danube flooding in several places it may not be easy for everyone to take part. Hours have been extended, with polling stations opening early in the worst-hitareas to allow busy flood workers to vote. Water levels are still rising, and the country’s second river, the Tisza, is also dangerously high. Outgoing Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany is hoping to retain power for his Socialist-Liberal coalition. If he does it will be the first time post-Soviet Hungary has trusted the same government with two terms.
The opposition’s Viktor Orban led Hungary from 1998 to 2002, brought to power by rural voters, and he hopes they can do it again for his centre-right Fidesz party. Both parties have promised tax cuts, but Hungary’s budget deficit is the biggest in Europe relative to the size of its economy. Whoever wins will have to tackle this first.