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Socialists urged to distance themselves from liberals

March 9th, 2015

A centrist analyst calls on the Socialist Party to return to social democratic principles, or risk further decline, including the danger of losing its voters to Jobbik.

The Left needs to abandon neoliberal doctrines, Zoltán Pogátsa says in an interview in Népszabadság. The economist finds it disappointing that the MSZP supported a liberal candidate in the Veszprém by-election (see BudaPost February 13). Pogátsa believes that unless it commits itself to true social democratic principles, the MSZP has no chance of defeating Fidesz. The Socialists should distance themselves from liberal parties and ally with trade unions, Pogátsa suggests. MSZP President Tóbiás appears to be trying to return his party to the social democratic path, he adds. In a comment on the Hungarian economy and society, Pogátsa blames all ills on neoliberal capitalism and calls for the raising of minimal wages and the strengthening of welfare institutions. Without a strong welfare state, there is no chance for sustained economic growth, Pogátsa thinks. If the Socialists fail to address the public demand for a strong welfare state, they may end up like the Greek Socialists who received only 4 per cent of the vote in the last election. But as in Hungary there is no strong far-left party similar to Syriza, disillusioned left-wing voters will vote for Jobbik, Pogátsa warns.

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