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PM Orbán calls referendum

July 23rd, 2021

A pro-government commentator welcomes the Prime Minister’s decision to call a referendum on the controversial child abuse legislation. A liberal columnist interprets the referendum as an act of ‘political paedophilia’.

On Wednesday, the government lifted the ban on referenda introduced in 2020 as part of the coronavirus emergency measures. On the same day, Prime Minister Orbán announced that the government a calling a referendum on the controversial child protection law banning the depiction of homosexuality or transgender issues among minors. Budapest Mayor Karácsony also announced that he would call a referendum on the Fudan university campus and the outsourcing of highway management to private companies, among other topics.

Magyar Nemzet’s Dávid Megyeri welcomes the Prime Minister’s decision to fend off the critics of the child abuse law including ‘Brussels’ and ‘anti-EU and anti-European’ forces. The pro-government commentator takes it for granted that any sane person will approve the government’s policy.

On Telex, János Halász thinks that the Prime Minister wants to divert attention from the Pegasus spyware campaign by announcing the referendum. The liberal columnist believes that the referendum is another demagogic stunt that the government is using to vilify ‘Brussels’ and the EU – or even an act of  ‘political paedophilia’, as it uses children for political purposes.

Portfolio contends that the announcement of the referendum suggests that the skirmish between the Hungarian government and the EU will be prolonged. The leading online business outlet suspects that the EU will withhold funding from Hungary and demand respect for human rights and anti-corruption measures.

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