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’Hunger Marchers’ reach Budapest

February 13th, 2013

An influential right wing pundit claims the demonstration is a joint MSZP-Jobbik attack on the government, while independent bloggers accuse the official parliamentary guard of complicity in setting up a counter-demonstration banner in front of Parliament. A libertarian commentator finds it rather sad that marching people still expect the government to provide them with “work and bread”, instead of asking for a truly free market and the rule of law.

This week’s ’Hunger March’ was organized by two relatively unknown NGOs but opposition politicians from the MSZP, Jobbik and LMP attended the rally. On Monday about fifteen hundred demonstrators arrived in Budapest. Some had walked as much as 280 kilometers from various points in the country. The crowd carried banners asking for fair wages, work and bread and were confronted by a large banner in front of Parliament with the words “Welcome Power-Hungry MSZP March.”

Zsolt Bayer, an influential columnist at the pro-government Magyar Hírlap claims that the protest was supported by the pro-MSZ mayors of smaller townships on the way. The opposition parties and left-wing media have accused thatthe pro-government Peace Walks are financed from the public coffers. One settlement provided sandwiches for participants and another mayor let organizers borrow their schoolbus, Bayer contends. He adds that Jobbik members joined the march, and some of the marchers also wore MSZP vests. How is it possible, he asks, that such towns complain about a lack of resources yet can afford to support a protest march?, Bayer wonders.

Tuesday evening, the organizers of Peace Walk admitted they put up the banner without the permission of the authorities.

Kapitalizmus blog comments on the irony that protesters carry left-wing slogans against ‘one of the most leftist governments of Hungary’ – meaning Fidesz. As long as organizers and opposition politicians cannot explain why a truly free market and the rule of law helps reduce unemployment while the government can only provide humiliating and temporary communal jobs at very low wages, if at all, it should come as no surprise that all the competing parties are on the left in Hungary – and the victory of the present government is assured, the libertarian blogger contends.

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