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The Esztergom stalemate

November 29th, 2011

A staunchly pro-government commentator calls upon all leading politicians in the Northern Hungarian town of Esztergom, including those on the right-wing, to step down because they are incapable of cooperating with each other. He believes that the kind of irrational intolerance which they display is a nationwide illness.

“If I were an Esztergom citizen, I would be convinced by now that I cannot trust any party activist. Because the one thing they don’t care about is me,” writes deputy editor László Szentesi-Zöldi in Magyar Hírlap.

The former mayor of Esztergom, Tamás Medgyes, who is also the local Fidesz leader and a Fidesz MP, lost his post last year to a lawyer, Mrs Éva Tétényi. She garnered the support of all the other political parties, from the left to the far right. But Fidesz retained its majority in the local assembly, and since then the administration of the municipality has been practically paralysed. Last week the street lights were turned off and school children did not receive hot meals for several days, until the council finally agreed to pay some of its debts to utility companies.

“We have to admit that Esztergom is a microcosm of the nation,” – Szentesi-Zöldi argues. Not just in the sense that there are two leaders stubbornly facing each other and sacrificing everything in their duel. But because each is backed by a camp of enthusiastic supporters who goad them on, and support them to the hilt.

The only solution for Esztergom – Szentesi-Zöldi concludes – is a new election, without any of the current leaders. They should all withdraw and let new people try their hand.

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