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Dispute over the direction of the MSZP

June 9th, 2018

A left-wing columnist calls on the Socialists to break with liberal capitalist views and embrace patriotic social democracy. A left-wing liberal pundit thinks that social democracy is not possible without liberals.

In Népszava, Gyula Hegyi calls on the MSZP to abandon liberalism and opt for patriotic and social democratic values. Instead of serving the interests of global elites and cooperating with Hungarian urban liberals, the Socialists should address rural voters, the former MSZP MEP writes. Hegyi goes on to accuse Fidesz of securing lucrative deals for multinational companies and creating a feudal system while at the same time pursuing extreme nationalist rhetoric. Instead of such sabre rattling nationalist ranting, the MSZP should put the interest of everyday Hungarians in focus and defend them from the global elites, Hegyi contends. Instead of seeking the help of liberals, Socialists should reach out to NGOs and movements that reject Fidesz as well as liberal capitalism.

Writing in the same daily, Róbert Friss finds Hegyi’s suggestions utterly mistaken. The left-wing liberal pundit thinks that social democracy is by definition liberal. In order to become a real social democratic party, the MSZP should first restore liberal democracy, Friss believes. All the more so, he  adds, because without winning over liberal voters, the MSZP has no chance to defeat Fidesz. He agrees that the Left should be more patriotic, but at the same time, Friss finds Hegyi’s anti-capitalist and even anti-EU rhetoric disturbing. In Frizz’s view, Fidesz can only be contained in a more integrated European Union.