Five parties join referendum on public sector salary cap in Hungary
Representatives of five opposition parties held a press conference on Monday in support of a referendum initiative aimed to put a cap on the salaries of state company managers.
The referendum was proposed by Gábor Vágó, former politician of the green opposition LMP party, to seek public support for changes under which the remuneration of leaders of state- and municipally owned companies could not exceed that of the president of the republic.
The initiative is supported by the Socialist, LMP, Dialogue, Együtt and satirical Kétfarkú Kutya (Two-tailed Dog) parties.
At the press conference, Vágó said that trade unions, civil organisations and private individuals have also joined the signature drive to collect “several hundred thousand” signatures and demonstrate that the government can be “toppled through a referendum”.
Socialist leader Gyula Molnár said this referendum could be symbolic and “break the myth that (ruling) Fidesz cannot be replaced and the country is beyond repair”.
Dialogue’s Gergely Karácsony said that the proposed referendum could be a “prelude” to an election victory next year, and highlighted the importance of cooperation between parties of the opposition.
Péter Juhász of Együtt slammed the government for “degrading” state-owned companies into “cash points”, with some of their top managers earning over 5 million forints (EUR 16,400) a month, compared to the president’s 1.5 million forints.
Speaking on behalf of Kétfarkú Kutya, Zsuzsanna Döme said that her party’s “passivists” are also helping with collecting signatures.
In response, Fidesz accused the left wing of applying double standards. While in power, the Socialists did not maximise the salaries of state company managers but cut pensions, the party said in a statement.
It will be up to Hungarian citizens to decide whether the referendum should be held or not, it said.