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Hungarian Socialists let down by European Left?

April 4th, 2014

A pro-government commentator notes that while Viktor Orbán’s Saturday rally was attended by Joseph Daul, the opposition event on Sunday did not even receive official greetings from European Socialists.

Over the weekend of March 29-30, the two main contenders held mass rallies in Budapest. The Fidesz rally was addressed by PM Viktor Orbán, while the opposition event the day after featured all the leaders of the left-wing coalition.

Gábor Borókai, editor-in-chief of government-friendly Heti Válasz (print version) suggests the Socialists have no backing in Europe any more. Why did European Socialist leader Martin Schultz (often critical of the Orbán government) not attend the rally, he asks, while Joseph Daul, the French chairman of the European People’s Party stood by Orbán on the stage and expressed his support? This might well be one of the most important turns in Hungarian politics, he concludes: the left has always invoked European support and had the ear of the European press. Hard core left-wingers, he remarks, joined the rally convinced that they were the real representatives of democracy, freedom and the West. Borókai believes the absence of western Socialist leaders at the rally is proof that as well as the loss of public confidence in their capacity to govern, Hungary’s Socialists have also lost the support of their foreign patrons.



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