Attila Vajnai: Political situation in Hungary

by Attila Vajnai

In Hungary, the situation has not improved since the European Parliament has discussed the governmental attacks on civil society organizations, the status of the Central European University (CEU) and the press freedom.

The Hungarian government continues to centralize its power, the wealth of the oligarchs close to the government and their share in the public procurements has continued to grow. An increasing part of the state revenue flows to government-committed entrepreneurs through projects that circumvent public procurements.

Meanwhile, the operation of the public health system has almost stopped, waiting lists for basic health services are so long that the patients turn to payable (private) healthcare institutions. Nearly one-third of Hungarian society, however, does not have enough financial resources to pay for these services. The social crisis has reached a dramatic size, hunger increases, mass eviction continues and 600,000 working people out of Hungary`s 10 million population have moved to Western Europe to find jobs and livelihood for themselves and their families, too.

Social dissatisfaction is on the rise, those who want to dismiss the ruling government are in majority, but due to the catastrophic division of the opposition parties and the disproportion of the Hungarian electoral system, the outcome of the next year’s elections is quite uncertain.

Socialists in their rhetoric promise to follow more leftist politics than before by launching a candidate for Prime Minister, namely László Botka, who promises to break up with the Socialists`previous governmental policies and refuses to go on a joint ballot list with the former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány.

However, the interests of the neoliberal circles within and outside the Hungarian Socialist Party (HSP) are still strong, which is proved by the fact that Ferenc Gyurcsány’s party (i. e. the Democratic Coalition) has allied with a new party (i. e. the Modern Hungary Movement) declaring itself to be a right-wing conservative, led by Lajos Bokros, a former finance minister and an EP representative known for his neoliberal views.

The system-critical left-wing forces can gain more influence in the 2018 elections if the Socialists really break out with their neoliberal politics and in the electoral struggle, they are willing to cooperate with the more leftist parties than the HSP. The Workers Party 2006 and the Balpárt (Left Party), in accordance with an earlier agreement, intend to jointly participate in the forthcoming elections and wish to seek further left-wing parties to this electoral cooperation. Their aim is to familiarize the political and economic alternatives elaborated by the Party of the European Left and to use the possibilities of the Hungarian parliamentary electoral campaign to build up a strong left-wing block for the 2019 EP elections, which is much more suitable to put the left-wing alternative to the test.

Recently Attila Vajnai, the President of the European Left-Workers Party 2006 has written a letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission requesting him to consider an urgent EU measure that the amount of about EUR 441 million demanded by Viktor Orban for his built border fences against refugees and migrants should be invested in specific social programs, which can contribute to the elimination of child poverty in Hungary, to improve health care and to avoid other social tragedies. „This would be a great help for the poor who have taken this money out of the pocket of the Orbán regime; and would contribute to restoring domestic democracy, which is also the responsibility of the European Union.”

It is clear to us that the far-right Prime Minister of Hungary was aiming to further strengthen his exploitation system in the shadow of the southern border guard to further strengthen the looting of the poor for the benefit of the government-minded oligarchs.

The Government’s anti-immigration and anti-Brussels policy has diverted attention from the problems of our country; created scapegoats; and contributed to fear control.”- Vajnai added.

Budapest, 5th September 2017.

Translated by Matyas Benyik

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