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Managing budgetary crisis is often seen as a process involving the extensive balancing between different, often competing interests and groups. Hungary’s post-2010 history, however, presents the relatively clear case of a government – almost unconstrained politically and apparently free from the pressures to seek compromises – facing the challenge of re-balancing its budget. We examine whether and how formal and informal mechanisms of political control change under such conditions. The findings established shed light on the nature of politicization trends. It seems that informal institutions of political control compete with, rather than supplement, weak or dysfunctional formal institutions, thereby counteracting the latter.