Orbán’s keynote speech: Opposition party reactions
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s keynote speech assessing his government’s performance over the past eight years was “full of lies”, Gergely Karácsony, the prime minister candidate of the opposition Socialists and Dialogue for Hungary (Párbeszéd) told a press conference on Sunday.
Socialists – Dialogue for Hungary
Whereas Orbán insisted that “Hungary comes first”, in reality the ruling Fidesz party’s top priority was Hungarians’ money, the opposition politician said.
“Had the fate of Hungary really been important to the prime minister, he would have taken into account where the country’s economy, education and health care have ended up,” he said, adding that the related statistics were “deplorable”.
He also called on Orbán “not to hide from public debate”.
Socialist head Gyula Molnár compared the keynote speech “to the motivation speech of a midsize Socialist company [in the Communist era], spiked with a few false illusions.”
The strongest opposition party, Jobbik said in a statement that Orbán’s speech assessed “his own past eight years and not the country’s”. “While Orbán’s strawmen have acquired unheard-of wealth, Hungary has taken in 20,000 rich migrants and 2,300 poor ones.”
“The Hungarian head of government is robbing the country in a way that would shame the mafia,” Jobbik insisted.
Meanwhile, a third of Hungarians are living in a dire state of poverty with rundown hospitals, it added.
In a video published on her Facebook page, Bernadett Szél, the prime minister candidate of green LMP, said that Orbán’s speech spoke of “an alternate reality”. The true reality was a “fight against propaganda,” she added.
Szél said Orbán’s speech made protecting a fence “nobody wants to demolish” its central concern. Hungary, according to Orbán, was also a place where the central bank governor had done “an excellent job protecting forex loan-holders”. “In reality, tens of thousands of families still live in fear of losing their homes,” she said. Referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, she said that
whereas Orbán claimed that Hungary had regained its independence, the prime minister was “implementing the Putin plan year by year, step by step”.
The LMP candidate for prime minister said Hungary was in need of an immediate and radical wage hike to curb emigration. Subsidies for families and pensions, as well as funding for education and health care, should be raised, she added.
The Democratic Coalition said in a statement that after “the last such speech Orbán would make” and after the April election he would have to answer in court to the charges brought against his relatives.
The Liberal Party said in a statement that, flying in the face of Orbán’s claims, Hungary had slid to the bottom of the list of EU economies. The government’s programme to open towards the East had failed, it added. “Our regional competitors are performing far better than us.” Only corruption has grown in Hungary, the statement said. The real danger to Hungary is not the “Soros Plan” but Orban and the Fidesz’s policies, the Liberals said.
“The Hungarian crisis has dragged out,” Viktor Szigetvári, the opposition Együtt party’s candidate for prime minister, told a news conference near the site of Orbán’s speech. “Social services have been dismantled, the education and health sectors have disintegrated, and Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have left Hungary behind economically,” the opposition politician said.
He insisted the past eight years had been wasted, with pension savings wiped out, a growing public debt and a failure to build up the middle class. “There is no Hungarian economic miracle, whatever Viktor Orbán may say,” Szigetvári said. The Együtt leader said Hungary should turn to the West rather the East and halt its project to expand the Paks nuclear power plant. He further urged the elimination of “Russian secret services operating in Hungary”.