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European Parliamentary election campaign in top gear

May 7th, 2014

A conservative commentator criticizes Jobbik’s anti-EU rhetoric by pointing out that Hungary has received thousands of billion Forints in EU cohesion funds. A liberal pundit scorns left and far-right parties which demand western European wages for Hungarians.

Commenting in Magyar Nemzet on Jobbik’s anti-EU rhetoric and stunts, Emil Ludwig points out that Hungary is one of the biggest beneficiaries of redistribution within the EU. Between 2004 and 2012, Hungary received a total of 5,211 billion Forints from the EU cohesion funds, the conservative columnist notes. Although the efficiency of the EU bureaucracy is far from ideal, in light of the benefits Hungary receives, it is irresponsilbe and silly to suggest that we would be better off if Hungary left the EU, Ludwig concludes.

It is absurd to demand that Hungarians should receive the same wages as employees in western Europe, Sándor Révész writes in Népszabadság. Several parties including Jobbik, former PM Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition, Bajnai’s Together 2014 and the LMP are demanding in their campaign posters that Hungarian wages should be on a par with wages in other EU member states. The liberal pundit believes those who demand western European wages for Hungarians want effectively to introduce a planned economy on the European level. It is inevitable and normal that in market economies, wages in poorer regions are lower. The parties concerned must suspect that, Révész concludes, otherwise they would also demand Budapest wages for eastern Hungary’s poor regions.

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