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’Friendly fire’ on new left-wing city councils

December 4th, 2019

A left-wing columnist warns newly elected city officials to abstain from selfish financial decisions that inevitably play into the hands of the government side.

In Népszava, Tamás Beck excoriates the new left-wing Mayor of the 15th district of Budapest, who persuaded the district council to elect her son (who is not a council member) to serve on the welfare committee. In the wake of the predictable public uproar, he admits, the young man announced that he would transfer his salary to a charity. Beck also deplores a statement by DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsány who took up the Mayor’s defence, cautioning against ‘false appearances’. The commentator remarks that there have been further similar cases of selfish behavior on the part of new left-wing district leaders. In the 18th district, for instance, the freshly elected left-liberal majority used the very first session of the district council to raise the members’ salaries. He fears that such cases may put Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony in a difficult position, and quotes an ancient saying: ‘God save me from my friends. I can protect myself from my enemies.’