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Left-wing opposition lacks vision

October 3rd, 2013

Commentators on both the right and the left agree that the left-wing opposition parties have so far failed to find a proper campaign message. They are trying to boost their popularity instead by making irresponsible welfare promises.

The left-wing parties are trying to increase their support by making promises which are as unrealistic as those of the government, Péter Pető writes in Népszabadság. The left-liberal columnist finds it unfortunate that the left wants to outbid Fidesz by promising an even higher increase in welfare spending and wages. Together 2014 leader Gordon Bajnai in an interview said that if his party wins the election next year, Hungarian wages will by 2015 be approaching those of German salaries, while MSZP head Attila Mesterházy has made similarly irresponsible and populist promises to pensioners, Pető recalls. Instead of a credible political program, the left stages pathetic stunts (see BudaPost October 1), Pető adds. He continues by noting that the left seems not to have learned from the past. In 2002 and 2006, the Socialists won the election by making promises on which they could not deliver, and it seems that now once again they are only concerned about defeating the government without taking into account that their irresponsible promises may come back to haunt them.

In Magyar Nemzet, Anna Szabó maintains that the left-wing parties criticize the government without offering any alternatives. Their only concrete proposal is to introduce a real estate tax and to reduce the surplus tax levied on telecom companies, banks and energy providers, the pro-government columnist remarks. Otherwise, the opposition parties confine themselves to automatically and indiscriminately criticizing the government’s every initiative, Szabó continues. This lack of a credible program and messages, she suggests, is the result of the left-wing parties’ reliance on the same politicians who were in charge under the previous Socialist-led governments.

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