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Parliament approves Fidesz family protection plan

April 8th, 2019

A pro-government official finds it reassuring that most opposition MPs voted in favour of the government’s family protection bill. A left-wing analyst and a liberal weekly, on the other hand, lambast opposition representatives whom they accuse of selling out to Fidesz.

On Monday, Parliament approved the ‘baby boom plan’ submitted by Fidesz (see Budapost February 15). The bill was supported by most opposition MPs including representatives of the MSZP, Jobbik and LMP, while the Democratic Coalition voted against.

In Vasárnap.hu, Tünde Fürész, head of the conservative KINCS family planning think tank established by the Ministry of Human Capacities finds reassuring the broad consensus around the government’s family policy. Fürész thanks opposition parties for supporting the bill. Fűrész thinks that most opposition MPs have realized that family policy requires long-term consensual national planning.

In 24.hu, Balázs Böcskei wonders why Socialist, Jobbik and LMP deputies supported the government bill despite their earlier criticism. The left-wing analyst recalls that opposition representatives harshly criticized the proposal, and none of their suggested amendments were included in the bill. Thus Böcskei finds it unlikely that they voted in favour of it for principled reasons. Böcskei thinks that the opposition parties simply wanted to avoid being accused of ignoring Hungary’s demographic challenges and the difficulties Hungarian families face. Böcskei suggests that this calculation may prove wrong, as they will lose face and let Fidesz define their image.

Magyar Narancs in a lead editorial lambasts opposition MPs who approved the bill. The left-wing liberal weekly accuses MSZP, Jobbik and LMP representatives of not having the courage to vote against a demagogic proposal despite the fact that the government’s family policy intends to ‘segregate society into deserving and undeserving families’. Magyar Narancs contends that the new family policy helps only wealthy and middle-class families, rather than those in need. Magyar Narancs calls on opposition voters not to support the MSZP, Jobbik or LMP in future ballots (which would leave them with a choice between the Democratic Coalition and Momentum).

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