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Demands for Matolcsy’s resignation

December 7th, 2011

Calls for the Minister of the Economy to resign are becoming more frequent, and are discussed by commentators from both sides of the political spectrum. A left wing columnist accuses PM Viktor Orbán of whipping up hatred, and calls upon moderate Fidesz politicians to intervene. His right wing counterpart favours a government compromise between employers and employees, rather than between the government and its opponents.

“PM Viktor Orbán is banking on confrontation within the nation; he harbours and provokes hatred” ­ Gábor Miklós contends in Népszabadság, He criticises Mr Orbán for keeping his Minister of the Economy in place, even though his economic policy has failed. So the premier has to find scapegoats to explain that failure. But the left-wing columnist believes the PM’s more moderate associates should stop him. They have the expertise, the talent and the finesse but their bravery is rather selective – Gábor Miklós suggests, and mentions Fidesz floor leader János Lázár and head of the Parliamentary Education Committee, Zoltán Pokorni by name. “They know what they are doing, but what is more, they also know what they are not doing.”

Although the opposition criticizes the government’s lack of willingness to compromise, it is not the political parties which the cabinet must reach agreement with, but the employers and the employees. If not, the latter will leave the country – argues Miklós Ugró in Magyar Nemzet.

Commenting on last weekend’s trade union demonstration, he understands the discontent voiced by the demonstrators, but not their methods: “This is indeed a miserable situation, but they should not rage against this government.”

(On Saturday. the unions demonstrated against government measures regarding education, health care and employment rights, while Facebook group One Million for Hungarian Press Freedom staged another demonstration in the afternoon against  government policy in general. The organisers demanded the immediate dismissal of Economy Minister György Matolcsy and the establishment of a standing crisis council comprised of economists).

Magyar Nemzet believes that demanding the dismissal of a cabinet minister is a typically political act, not a civic initiative. Speakers at the demonstration “lacked both reason and realism,” so it is hardly surprising that attendance was low – writes Miklós Ugró.

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