Privatization in Hungary: how to sell property

* * *

People's action

To the question: "Who should be the owner?" — many answer: the working people — and, referring to foreign examples, "swear" to popular actions. In an economy with mixed ownership, the right to the existence of workers' shares is indisputable, but their introduction as the predominant form of ownership is unlikely to achieve the goal. If someone is an employee and at the same time a shareholder, then the interests of the employee will be decisive. It is more important for him to keep his workplace than what kind of profit the company will receive in the future.

Why is the idea of popular actions popular in Hungary? According to L. Antal, the actions of workers seem promising because they promise to get rid of the oppressive conflicts of society, so that they will not become political conflicts. One can give such an example. If, after all, some capitalist owner decides to close the enterprise, then the trade union will organize a strike, and there is a political conflict. In the same case, if the (shareholder) owner and the employee are the same person, then the conflict occurs only in himself, in his personality. According to L. Antal, because of this nature of people's actions (or workers' actions), the idea of them will always accompany the reform of property.

* * *

Sale at auction

But will the reform also be accompanied by what is now called the sale of property at auction?

This process can be evaluated in different ways. Part of the opposition believes that there is a transformation of the power of managers into the power of owners of capital, so it is necessary to radically stop spontaneous privatization. A popular requirement. Only the real question is not who is the owner, but whether he uses the national property with the necessary efficiency.

M. Tardosh believes that if state property is transformed into the property of an economic partnership, it will probably be better than losses due to the introduction of "suspicious" shares. L. Antal makes additions to the question based on foreign experience. In his opinion, the experience of Italy and other countries suggests that institutions interested in profit — holdings, banks — can partly play the role of owner even when they are not owned by the state. They form a system that does not directly make business decisions, but has an intense financial impact.

However, the process of spontaneous privatization is accelerating, and management is no longer content with selfish preservation of itself, but receives and provides others with the opportunity to acquire a share of the real owner. This happens with the help of such evasions, in such ways that it is impossible to trace.