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Parliament debates the EU Pact

December 14th, 2011

A left-wing pundit criticises the Prime Minister for not admitting the failure of his economic strategy. Right-wing journalists welcome cautious deliberation and blame the opposition parties for their “irresponsible and partisan” attacks.

On Monday, December 12 in Parliament, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán summarized the  new fiscal deal which European leaders discussed in Brussels last week (see BudaPost December 12). Orbán commented that joining the deal would significantly weaken Hungary’s budgetary sovereignty. In their reactions to the PM’s speech, Socialist and LMP politicians suggested that Orbán’s economic strategy had failed, and called for his resignation. Radical right-wing Jobbik proposed a referendum to decide whether or not Hungary should join the EU pact.

Endre Aczél in Népszabadság criticizes Orbán for blaming all problems on the eurozone countries. He also finds the PM’s unshakable optimism that Hungary will soon become one of the most competitive countries in the EU, is unfounded.

In the same daily, political analysts wonder why Orbán has still not made his position on the EU agreement clear. Zoltán Vasali suggests that this is part of Orbán’s strategy: the PM wants to use the debate in Parliament to position Fidesz in the centre, between the harshly EU-sceptic Jobbik and the left-wing parties which would unconditionally support further integration and the loss of sovereignty.

In Magyar Nemzet Péter Farkas Zárug, a pro-government political analyst notes that since the details of the EU fiscal agreement have not yet been worked out, it is wise for the PM to delay a final decision on whether or not to support further integration.

Orbán is no Berlusconi” – already in the headline of his editorial, Magyar Nemzet’s deputy editor Szabolcs Szerető attempts to dampen the hopes of those who long for the premier’s resignation. Unlike the former Italian prime minister, he explains, Mr Orbán has absolutely no intention of ceding his post to a regent of the markets.”

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