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SZDSZ died leaving debt

November 20th, 2013

A leading pro-government commentator condemns liberal opinion leaders for claiming a political role after having ruined both their own party, and the MSZP.

In Magyar Nemzet, Szabolcs Szerető says the negative heritage of the SZDSZ goes well beyond the huge debt the liberal party left behind before disbanding earlier this year. The pro-government daily runs an extensive report on that debt it estimates at 1,2 billion forints. Recapitulating the history of the liberal party, Szerető recalls that it was set up by the famous dissidents of the 1980s on a radically anti-communist platform, but ended up joining the Socialist Party in government in 1994, instead of remaining in opposition. As a result, its constituency shrank to one quarter of its original size, barely passing the parliamentary threshold in 1998 and in 2002. During its second and third terms in government with the MSZP, they imposed neo-liberal policies on their ally, plunging the Socialists into a deep identity crisis. Meanwhile, the founding fathers left the SZDSZ one after the other, and the liberal party ended up in the hands of totally unknown figures who eventually had to close it down, leaving huge debts behind. Nevertheless, Szerető continues, some of the well-known liberal opinion leaders, including politicians and intellectuals, continue to “inundate the public spaces of the so called democratic opposition”, and some of them have even made it into the new opposition alliance. At present they try to “order” Socialist Party chairman Attila Mesterházy to accept Gordon Bajnai’s leadership and “would even rehabilitate Ferenc Gyurcsány”. Szerető ends his comment by reminding the liberals that it is not them who will pay back the debt their party left behind.

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