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Crossfire of  accusations of demagoguery

August 30th, 2021

A pro-government commentator interprets Budapest Mayor Karácsony’s threat to veto the Budapest Athletics Championship as a demagogic stunt. A liberal pundit, on the other hand, thinks that what he labels the government’s demagogic economic path is untenable.

In Magyar Nemzet, Gábor Baranyai suspects that Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony is threatening to veto the 2023 Athletic World Championship bid and the building of the Fudan University campus (see BudaPost August 28), in order to boost his support in the opposition primaries. The pro-government commentator suggests that Karácsony wants to catch up with the Democratic Coalition’s Klára Dobrev and the Jobbik frontrunner Péter Jakab in what he calls ‘a demagogic outbidding contest’.

In Élet és Irodalom, Ervin Tamás accuses the government of irresponsible demagoguery. The liberal pundit thinks that in addition to outsourcing vast amounts of public funds to pro-government foundations, PM Orbán’s cabinet is spending ‘mindlessly’ before the 2022 election. Even if it wins the election, the opposition would find it extremely hard to govern, Tamás contends. It would have no leverage over the autonomous institutions overseeing former public money, and, at the same time, it would need to introduce tough economic reforms. Tamás thinks that under such circumstances, the opposition can barely design a new constitutional system or meet the high expectations of their voters.

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