While Fidesz’ candidates can easily donate eggs and milk or even laptops labelled with the candidate’s name to senior citizens, opposition politicians are no longer allowed to give donations to an institution for handicapped children. Jobbik’s Ádám Mirkóczki wanted to help but the institution’s regional operator, which reports to Zoltán Balogh’s Ministry of Human Capacities, simply banned him from doing so. Explanation: nothing.
Talking to daily Magyar Nemzet, Jobbik’s MP who is also running for the parliamentary seat to represent the Eger electorate said that they had had some money left after the Christmas charity events so they offered their help to a Heves county institution for handicapped children. (He didn’t reveal the name of the institution because, as the politician put it, he didn’t want to put them on the spot.) The manager of the institution told him that they needed some skills development toys so the politician and his team bought such toys for a certain sum. They agreed that there would be no media event, they wouldn’t even take photos unless the institution allows. Mr Mirkóczki says this is their standard practice: if the recipient wishes so, they don’t document the donation.
Before their meeting scheduled for yesterday though, the regional operator intervened and the whole thing had to be cancelled. According to the e-mail, which we have seen too, the regional department of the Social and Child Protection Directorate did not support the idea of the donation.
They did admit as much that MP Ádám Mirkóczki “may of course enter the institution” but they “respectfully asked” him “not to bring any donations”.
What the message does not reveal though is why regional director Zsolt Sinka in charge of social affairs would not like handicapped children to get skills development toys, even if they come from a Jobbik MP.
Ádám Mirkóczki told us that “respecting but disagreeing with the operator’s request” he asked a co-worker to deliver the toys as a private citizen, so the children did receive them eventually. “I find it utterly outrageous and equally incomprehensible that a man with such insensitive and anti-social thinking as Zsolt Sinka could become the head of an organization comprising institutions caring for severely handicapped and sick children,” the politician said. On the other hand, he added, you should have no doubt that if the region’s Fidesz MP Zsolt Nyitrai had given any donations like that, the local television would have broadcast the event live.
That is perhaps not so far from the truth since Zsolt Nyitrai had just attended an event where, according to the report of the local television, 80 senior citizens were given laptop computers as part of a donation project in the towns of Füzesabony and Szihalom.
Nobody raised any concerns when he gave presents to Eger’s state-operated Ferenc Markhot Hospital either: he even boasted about in his Facebook page that he and his team delivered cakes for emergency room staff there. He was also very proud to announce recently that he handed out apples to Eger citizens and suggested that such events could be held every year.
However, Zsolt Nyitrai is not the only politician to begin giving out donations in the heat of the election campaign – and in the presence of the media, of course. In Budapest District VII, Fidesz’ István Bajkai has recently handed out free milk to the locals, with his name on each bottle. A couple of weeks earlier, the district’s residents got eggs from him, with his name written in block capitals on each box.
In contrast, other opposition parties have been banned from doing charity, just like Jobbik. For example, Democratic Coalition (DK) was forbidden to hand out food, bean goulash specifically, in the town of Pécs. Even though any aid is more than welcome in many places. As we reported earlier, the only reason why children’s hospice institution Dori House was not cut off the power grid was because the last tenant was on life support.