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Fidesz to offer a pact to Socialists?

April 26th, 2014

A young pro-government writer suggests that Fidesz helped the Socialists to preserve their place in Hungarian politics, and now it is time for the MSZP to take up the offer and give up “the democracy agenda”. The author, a member of the Young Christian Democrats (affiliated with the Fidesz-KDNP coalition) recalls the so-called Bethlen-Peyer pact as an example which could be emulated today.

The now famous pact was a secret agreement between Social Democrats and the government of István Bethlen in 1921. It put an end to the persecution of moderate left-wing personalities and activists after the white terror that followed the Communist dictatorship in 1919. The deal also guaranteed the free functioning of the Social Democratic Party and the Trade Unions, but banned them from rural areas. The Social Democrats pledged to support the government’s international diplomatic efforts.

On Konzervatorium, Balázs Szolomayer proposes a second Bethlen-Peyer pact, because Left and Right need each other now in Hungary. The former because it is struggling for survival, while the latter because it is in need of more legitimacy and a better press in Western countries. Szolomayer claims Fidesz “did practically everything they could to support” MSZP chairman Attila Mesterházy’s efforts to renew the left. Until the very last stage of the campaign, when the Simon affair broke out, he continues, Mesterházy was conspicuously spared by Fidesz, which concentrated its artillery on Ferenc Gyurcsány’s DK and Gordon Bajnai’s Together –  both of which he characterises as lobbyists of foreign interests. The governing party’s “goal is not to annihilate the Left but to deal with a new left”. The pact Szolomayer envisages would entail that the Socialists stop focusing on the so-called “democracy agenda” and accept that the régime change (i.e. the 1989-1990 transition to democratic liberal capitalism and its aftermath) was a failure. If the Socialists were to support the government in standing up for the principle of national sovereignty and national interests within the EU, “it would become possible for Fidesz to stop acting like a besieged fortress and make (symbolic) concessions” that would be of help to Mesterházy. But if the MSZP keeps yielding to pressure from Liberal intellectuals, with its dwindling resources and in constant conflict with Fidesz, the MSZP will gradually sink into insignificance and its place will be taken by another major left-wing party – “possibly even Jobbik”. A new Bethlen-Peyer Pact is round the corner, and is there for the taking,“ Szolomayer concludes.

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