Vona: EU wage union signature drive ‘mustn’t fall prey to political games’
Jobbik’s signature drive for a European wage union is a historic opportunity for Hungary and central and eastern European member states that “must not fall prey to the smear campaigns” launched by Jobbik’s political rivals, the opposition party’s leader said on Monday.
Jobbik’s political rivals, “fuelled by the sour grapes effect”, have been using “disinformation” to discredit the wage union campaign, Gábor Vona told a press conference in Gyöngyös, in northern Hungary.
Jobbik “is not promising overnight wage growth” with the initiative, nor is it asking Brussels to provide more money for raising wages, Vona said, adding that equalising wages throughout the European Union would not even require tax increases.
Vona said his party’s goal was to cement the principle of “equal pay for equal work” among the EU’s fundamental principles.
The European Commission approved a European citizens’ initiative prepared jointly by eight central and eastern European member states in May, giving them the green light to start gathering signatures. The countries participating in the campaign have one year to collect a total of one million signatures in support of the initiative. Jobbik launched its signature drive on August 20.
Vona also said that if his party won next year’s general election, it would “rethink” the strategic cooperation agreements that the current government has signed with multinational companies. He vowed that his government would work to make Hungarian suppliers more competitive and reduce the vulnerability of Hungarian workers. The Jobbik government would also use EU funds to boost the competitiveness of Hungarian firms, Vona added.
On another subject, Vona said he had no reason to apologise for remarks he had made about pensioners in July, arguing that his Facebook post was referring to “elderly people who have lost their sober sense of values and have been successfully manipulated” and was not a generalisation.