The Socialists have called on the government to scale back the fireworks on August 20, Hungary’s national holiday, and “use the money saved to help those in need”.
Party deputy leader Imre Komjáthi told an online press conference on Friday that the costs of the fireworks in 2009, the last year of a Socialist government in Hungary, came to 212 million forints (EUR 520,000). This year, the government is shelling out over one billion for the same purpose, he said.
“At a time when millions of Hungarians live in existential insecurity,
fireworks worth 212 million would be a dignified way to celebrate the founding of the Hungarian state,”
he said. The Socialist party had proposed earlier to introduce 20,000-forint monthly vouchers for families in need, to be spent exclusively on basic foods, he said.
“In the current situation, Hungary needs more bread and higher wages and pensions. Rather than blinding people, we should feed them,” Komjáthi said.
Opposition Jobbik’s new leader Márton Gyöngyösi has proposed the launch of consultations between parliamentary parties on managing the economic crisis. Gyöngyösi told a press conference on Friday that he would send letters to the heads of nine parliamentary groups before the end of the day, inviting them to a meeting next Thursday.
“The government cannot or does not want to understand what type of crisis we are heading towards and what the reasons are,”
he said. He added that it should be a government task to assess the situation but “as a responsible politician” he felt obliged to propose that political powers should seek a solution jointly.
Under the threat of an economic crisis unprecedented for decades, the government does not appear to have a response to the situation, while the central bank’s forex reserves are at an all-time low and “it can hardly protect itself from speculation”. The situation could be resolved with the help of European Union resources, he added.