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MSZP follows through with the referendum initiative

April 14th, 2016

Considering the kind of flexibility Fidesz displayed with regard to Sunday shop closures, the opposition parties’ only effective weapon against the government remains the theme of corruption, Magyar Nemzet believes. Fidesz, however, is much better at waging jungle war, Magyar Idők warns.

In future, money is probably the only issue the opposition can exploit when it attempts to attack Fidesz, Albert Gazda asserts on mno.hu (Magyar Nemzet Online). For the opposition, the magic weapons available are few and far between, the author warns, in the face of the kind of flexibility demonstrated by Orbán and his team when they withdrew the law banning most shops from opening on Sundays. (See BudaPost  April 13th, 2016). That is why all opposition parties are making corruption the chief theme of their grand campaign against the government. In Hungary, where people hate capitalism and the rich, ‘God’ should be plebeian, the author argues, and Viktor Orbán  has so far managed to convince his followers that he is one, Gazda contends. The system can handle accusations leveled at people who inhabit the lower echelons of the power structure, as devotees tolerate these disagreeable people because the prime minister trusts them, and the ‘Communists used to steal much more anyway’. However, the author suggests, a tipping point can be reached, especially, if someone manages to prove that God does have money.

In its front-page editorial, Népszabadság attacks what it deems the high wages of top managers at state owned forestries. The article claims the debate on the issue totally lack common sense and so does the reason the Ministry of Agriculture gave for such salaries: the managers earn wages up to twice as much as the Prime Minister does, the ministry said, because they protect the heritage of future generations.

In a paradoxical way, when retreating, Fidesz has pulled the rug from under the opposition, János Csontos interprets the political situation after the government’s U-turn on Sunday shop closures in Magyar Idők. They have not been checkmated, but the endgame can be predicted, the author asserts in the editorial of the pro-government daily.

The MSZP decided to go on with collecting the needed signatures for its referendum initiative although the question on whether or not to abolish the law on Sunday shop closures has become meaningless. The other two questions to be submitted to referendum (one concerning rural land sales and the other if there should be a wage ceiling for CEOs of state owned companies) are not deemed ‘strong’enough without the Sunday closure question to energize voters.

When they decided to follow through with their referendum initiative, they in fact use weapons Orbán has got tired of, János Csontos, explains, warning that Fidesz is a much better at jungle war.


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