picture of Péter Márki-Zay, György Gémesi, Gergely Karácsony

More cuts in funding, a lack of information, and buck passing are what local municipalities have to face, according to the leaders of the Association of Hungarian Municipalities (MÖSZ). After hearing these grievances, Péter Márki-Zay, the joint opposition candidate for prime minister, promised to support all municipalities without political considerations if his side wins the elections next year.

At MÖSZ’s board meeting on Tuesday, attended by Márki-Zay as well as Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony, raising the minimum wage was one of main the topics discussed. Although local municipalities are the nation’s second largest employers, MÖSZ President György Gémesi criticized the fact that they have not been able to take part in any of the negotiations on the topic.

Although Karácsony supports reducing the tax burden on employers in connection with the minimum wage increase, he believes that “the problem is that they want to make local municipalities pay the cost of this.” According to Karácsony, there is a political motivation behind the decision. “Their real political intention is not to help businesses and employers in a proper way,” he said, “but to withdraw funding from the local municipality system so that municipalities are kept on a short leash.”

Discussing the coronavirus, opposition prime ministerial candidate Péter Márki-Zay criticized the government for passing the buck on the decision to order compulsory vaccination, even though he thinks it should be the government’s responsibility in “all cultured countries.”

“It’s a cowardly move on the part of the government,” the opposition leader said, noting that municipalities haven’t even received the information they need to make a responsible decision. He cited his own city as an example, where neither a representative of the local hospital nor the government office has a seat at the strategic management operational staff meeting, nor are they receiving data from them.

At the same time, Márki-Zay promised that if Viktor Orbán’s government is replaced next year, his government will support all local governments without political considerations.

[Magyar Hang]

By Steven N.

Steven is the editor-in-chief of Hungarian Politics. He has been following the political scene in Hungary and the Central European region more or less since 1994.