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Hungary’s economy poses immediate challenge for Orban after election win

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Eyeing the prices at a Budapest market hall, retired school nurse Maria Veres said she was grateful for a big January pension bonus from Viktor Orban’s government. It encouraged her to vote to re-elect the premier this month, but the windfall is almost gone already.

Hungary’s highest inflation in 15 years is cutting into her freshly padded savings but has not yet hit her confidence in Orban, who she expects can protect citizens from rising prices and other economic problems.

“These price tags are horrific,” she said, looking at a dozen eggs costing about 600 forints, or just over €1.50, up one-third from a year ago. “This sort of inflation, I thought it was a thing of the past. I hope Orban defends us from this somehow.”

While he is buoyed by a fourth consecutive election win that extends his tenure as the EU’s longest-serving leader, Orban — who has said he is determined “to preserve financial stability” — faces some of the…

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