Hungary’s “gravest problem” is its ruling Fidesz party, which has “manoeuvred the country into a dead end”, József Tóbiás, head of the opposition Socialist Party, told the party’s congress on Saturday.
Tóbiás (pictured) insisted that the Fidesz government has aggravated all of the country’s problems, including a failure to tackle deep poverty and deliberately neglecting vulnerable groups within society. He said Fidesz was exclusively interested in retaining its power and converting it into material gains. Under Fidesz rule health services had “tragically” deteriorated and the government had deliberately kept wages low.
Tóbiás announced that his party has launched a signature drive for higher salaries. He insisted that no public employees should earn less than net 100,000 forints a month, while university graduates should make twice as much. If that happened, young people would no longer emigrate to find jobs in other countries.
Hungary’s right can no longer resolve the country’s problems, and “it is only the Socialist Party which could eliminate the crisis caused by parties of the right”, Tóbiás said. He added that a relevant programme for a “fairer and secure Hungary” would be elaborated in 2016.
László Botka, head of the Socialists’ national board, called for efforts to “expose the lies of government propaganda” in a straightforward manner. Botka said his party needs to put on its priority list higher wages, issues around the sales of state-owned land, a fair welfare and pension policy, as well as an alternative, sustainable utility cuts programme. He argued that these issues were important for millions of Hungarians.
Botka warned of serious tensions within society, and said the political situation could change very fast. Therefore, he suggested, “we should not waste ammunition on each other”, referring to recent conflicts within the Socialist Party. According to Botka, the government “has built its power on the fear and vulnerability of people” and is now openly “looting” national assets.
In that situation the Socialists should demonstrate that “real security can only be achieved through freedom and solidarity”.