Budapest (MTI) – Leftist Democratic Coalition (DK) will work to create a country of peace and prosperity after the 2018 elections, party leader Ferenc Gyurcsány told a conference on Friday.
Outlining his party’s programme for the elections, the ex-premier expressed DK’s commitment to a shared Hungarian and European identity and to values such as love of freedom, parliamentarianism, the rule of law and an economy based on free market and competition.
The only way to create a peaceful society and push back [ruling] Fidesz and Jobbik is to improve quality of life, restore democratic public life and reinvigorate the welfare state, he said.
Gyurcsány admitted that the credibility of politics has declined over the past 27 years but objected to erasing from history the achievements of that period. He added that whichever party gets a mandate to form a government in 2018, it will have to respect its opponents’ views.
Moving onto specific points of the programme, Gyurcsány said that a minority of Hungarians undoubtedly lives better now than at the fall of Communism 27 years ago. The majority of the country, however, feels that their lives have become less secure and more difficult. Unless left-wingers, liberals and moderate conservatives add a better quality of life to their programmes on democracy and the rule of law, they will never be given a mandate to govern the country, he stressed.
Dignity should be granted to all Hungarians, but a responsible government cannot overreach, Gyurcsány said. For instance, a general wage rise of 50 percent would drive the country to bankruptcy. DK will rather aim at a yearly wage rise exceeding inflation by 5 percentage points. In education and healthcare, however, wages rises should exceed inflation by 15 percentage points, he said.
As old-age poverty is an acute problem, a part of increments stemming from economic growth should be earmarked for pension rises, he said.
Health care needs to be reorganised, with a clear separation of services available to everyone on social security and those available in an “extra package” for those willing to pay for them, he said.
Gyurcsány called for a free, high-quality and modern school system where everyone is at liberty to choose education concurring with their world views. Public education is to remain free of charge. In higher education, talented students should receive scholarships exceeding their tuition fees, he said.
Gyurcsány stressed the need for a new energy policy with more emphasis on renewable sources and for general access to digital communication.