Budapest, April 25 (MTI) – Calm, composed and sober governance is needed in Hungary, and a line must be drawn under the “extreme conditions” of the 2010-2014 period, parliamentary speaker Laszlo Kover said on Saturday.
Addressing a meeting on the Hungarian Civil Cooperation Association (MPPE), Kover said the government’s job is to implement decisions in a well considered, prepared and mature way, and communicate them properly. The cabinet has not been able to achieve this so far, and so Fidesz is liable to come in for criticism for these reasons. At the same time, there are few greater successes in Hungarian history than the past four years, he added.
“I don’t want to say that mistakes have not been made, whether they be in the community or committed by myself,” Kover said. “Or for that matter by Prime Minister Viktor Orban and ruling Fidesz politicians.”
“I don’t want to make excuses and the lessons must be drawn,” he said, adding that the mistake of falling into a state of panic and hysteria should be avoided. “Otherwise it’s over for us.”
“Close the doors and the windows, turn off the television and radio, and think about where we are, where we’ve got to over the past five years and what it is that we still have to achieve before 2018,” he said, referring to the year of the next general election. “If we’re capable of doing this, then it will transpire what the political disputes are about … At stake is the fate of the country and the nation, and this fate is decided by the act of governance,” Kover said.
Referring to the year when Fidesz came to the end of its first stint in power in 2002, he gave warning that the party must not only govern but be politically engaged, too. “This is how the election can be won in 2018, meaning another four years of adding to the success of the past five years,” he said, noting family policies, reducing the stock of debt and keeping the level of investments high, the latter, he said, having hit a record over the past 17 years.
On the topic of Sunday shop closures, he said measures were not introduced on a whim or to “throw a bone” to the co-ruling Christian Democrats, who lobbied hard for the restrictions. The speaker insisted there were firm social and economic considerations for the move.
Without mentioning names, Kover said there was a Fidesz politician “who, it turns out, while being relatively young, has a fortune”. He derided the view that a politician, if he has a fortune, is automatically deemed to be disreputable.
“If someone says, 25 years after the change in political system, that it is not possible to tread a respectable path and secure a decent middle-class fortune, this would be the most serious indictment of the change in political system,” Kover said, adding that “there would be no point at all to the whole thing.”
Zoltan Balog, minister of human resources (Christian Democrat), told the meeting that the starting point of the past 25 years had been a desire not to pursue “lies and sneaky ways” or the deception of oneself or others. There was a desire for freedom and straight talk, he said. Hungary must not get stuck in the oppressive and damaging heritage typical of the 1948-1990 period, Balog added.
The goal is to create a society built on civic values; a country where people can live in freedom and live responsibly.