Six opposition parties that had proposed holding a special parliamentary session to evaluate the government’s performance during the Covid-19 epidemic were unable to proceed for lack of a quorum, but they have pressed ahead with a committee operating outside of the parliamentary framework nonetheless, Bence Tordai, deputy group leader of the Párbeszéd party, told a joint online press conference on Monday.
The six-party group established by the Socialists, the Democratic Coalition, Jobbik, LMP, Momentum and Párbeszéd had originally proposed the special session with a view to setting up three ad-hoc committees to examine the government’s economic measures, issues around handling the epidemic in Hungary and vaccine purchases, Tordai said.
He said normally it was parliament’s task to monitor the government’s work, adding that over the past few months, the government had failed to wage an effective fight against the pandemic, protect human lives and guarantee security of livelihood.
Socialist deputy group leader Tamás Harangozó said his party would focus on the situation of wage and salary earners as well as SMEs.
“How is it possible that the government provides 160 million forints (EUR 449,000) for the creation of a single job in large foreign companies while it is unable to protect the existing jobs,” he asked.
DK’s parliamentary spokesman Zoltán Varga said the government seemed indifferent to vaccinating Hungarians with safe jabs approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
“What matters is which vaccine is preferred by [Foreign Minister] Péter Szijjártó, and which complies best with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s malign political and economic considerations,” he said.
Jobbik deputy leader László György Lukács said the six-party committee should investigate “why the spring was much better than autumn” in terms of the number of deaths and infections. “Why have testing and contract tracing collapsed? Why did Orban let the virus dictate the pace last autumn,” he asked.
Momentum board member Endre Tóth criticised the government for “failing to duly inform” the public about when they would get inoculated and gain access to funds under the economic protection plan.
LMP deputy group leader Antal Csárdi called it untenable that while “thousands of vaccines” were arriving in Hungary no one could tell how the jabs interacted with medicines taken regularly, and what effects they would have on patients with autoimmune diseases.