In an unsigned editorial, Népszabadság suggests that the recent scandals concerning MSZP politicians who are accused of tax fraud and bribery are lethal to the identity of a left wing party.
Gábor Simon, number two in the Socialist Party hierarchy has been taken into custody after it was revealed that besides his 240 million forint secret deposit in an Austrian bank, he also has a secret account in Hungary and a fake passport from Guinea-Bissau. (See BudaPost February 10.) Simon claims he acted on behalf of others but would not say whom. János Zuschlag, a former MSZP MP and youth leader who had to resign ten years ago for making practical jokes at a Holocaust remembrance event, then served six years in jail on corruption charges. He published his memoirs on Monday, in which he accuses current and former MSZP leaders of financial misconduct and theft. (See BudaPost March 10.)
Népszabadság’s editorial says Gábor Simon cynically deserted exactly those whom a left-wing party is meant to serve: the poor. “A single sentence” describing his misconduct “is enough to kill the identity of the party”, the authors suggest. It beggars belief, they complain, how the man could talk in public about protecting the vulnerable and participate in a “hunger march” to call attention to the plight of the very poor while he was “quietly stashing away funds of unknown origin”. Zuschlag’s revelations, they add, paint a picture of the political elite that “uses politics as their playground”. Such news cannot be explained away by pointing to the electoral system or the use of the media for political purposes by the government side: they reveal the culture of the Socialists. Any “such character must disappear from public life”, Népszabadság concludes, because the MSZP is destroyed by the past it represents, and such a past kills any hope for the future.