Hungary needs allies in the West rather than to become a part of the “eastern world order”, the head of the opposition Socialist Party told a conference commemorating former Socialist Prime Minister Gyula Horn in Budapest on Wednesday.
Bertalan Tóth insisted that his party was a “committed adversary to illiberalism” but it was also critical of liberal democracy and capitalism. Instead, it seeks a social democratic ideal with the aim of increasing wages, protecting the interests of employees and resolving problems around education and health, he added.
Concerning the European Union, Tóth said that his party was pro-European, but he expressed criticism over the EU, saying that its institutions were now “far from the everyday lives of ordinary people”.
The community should seek ways to contribute to building those lives, he said.
The Socialists accept the rules of capitalism but oppose “unlimited opportunities for multinational companies; we are not allied to international companies but to their employees,” Tóth said, adding that Hungarian wages should be raised to western European levels.
Tóth criticised the government for “turning back to the past” and “building a future based on obedient subjects” who automatically vote for the ruling parties. The Socialists believe the future lies in creative and critical-minded young people who can adapt to new challenges, he added.
Concerning the European Parliament’s upcoming vote on the Sargentini report, Tóth said his party rejected being pilloried and “the idea that it should be ashamed because of its prime minister”.
“What is now happening is not about the country; the report condemns a prime minister who has turned against his own people and has done nothing to remove inequalities in education or health care,” Tóth insisted.
Featured image: MTI