Budapest (MTI) – The Socialist Party on Friday announced its intention to combine signature collections for referendum questions on the Sunday shop restrictions, the sale of state-owned farmland and on putting a 2 million forint cap on public officials’ salaries.
Speaking at a press conference in Veszprém, in western Hungary, party leader József Tóbiás said lawmaker István Nyakó, whose referendum initiative on scrapping the shopping law was approved by the supreme court earlier this week, had consulted with the opposition politicians who submitted the other two referendum questions on combining their campaigns to collect the 200,000 supporting signatures each question requires to be put to a binding referendum.
The referendum initiative aimed at thwarting the government’s state-owned land privatisation programme was proposed by deputy Socialist leader Zoltán Gőgös, while the question on a salary cap for public officials was put forward by independent MP Zoltán Kész.
Tobias said that over the last five years, the government had restricted people’s right to express their opinion on matters that affect their lives. The people were never asked how they felt about the sale of state-owned farmland or if they thought that “it was right for government officials to pay themselves millions in salaries” when Hungarian average wages fall short of the EU average, he said. “Nor were they ever asked if they agree with Sunday shop closures.”
Under Hungary’s referendum law, petitioners have 120 days to collect 200,000 signatures in support of a referendum question.