picture of Péter Márki-Zay and István Ujhelyi

Péter Márki-Zay, the opposition’s joint prime ministerial candidate, is staying busy during his trip to Brussels. The opposition leader went to the seat of European power on Tuesday to meet with Hungarian MEPs and local Hungarians, as well as with representatives of several factions in the European Parliament.

On Wednesday morning, István Ujhelyi and Péter Márki-Zay reported live from the European Parliament in a joint press conference. Socialist MEP Ujhelyi invited the opposition’s joint prime ministerial candidate to Brussels to discuss the future of Hungary with European political leaders.

During the press conference, Ujhelyi claimed that European political leaders had followed the opposition’s Hungarian primary elections, and that they had high hopes for the next six months, as they could see that “Hungary wants change.”

“However, the election alone will not solve Hungary’s problems, which is why we have initiated meetings to be able to say what kind of changes are needed and what difficulties we are facing to be able to dismantle the current system,” added István Ujhelyi.

Following the press conference, Péter Márki-Zay said that over two days in Brussels he would have a total of twenty meetings with six European commissioners and leaders of four party groups. So far, they have been able to sit down with the Greens and the Socialists, and have received a positive reception everywhere.

“They have an interest in Hungary’s renewal, that it belong to the Christian culture of Western Europe, and that it be a loyal member of this alliance as well as NATO, and not a traitor,” said the opposition’s joint prime ministerial candidate.

Márki-Zay also stated that he was committed to eliminating corruption and emphasized the need for EU funds to be used so that citizens could benefit from them as much as possible. He also stressed developing the Hungarian economy and the need to join the Eurozone, which could take 4-5 years, as well as an imperative to remove the “criminals” installed by Fidesz.

Responding to a journalist’s question, the mayor of Hódmezővásárhely said that his Every Hungary Movement was not a party per se, so he would not be joining any European caucus, but that Hungary’s New Beginning and the New World People’s Party would have a place in the European People’s Party. As for ruling government party Fidesz, “they are not worthy of calling themselves Christian.”

Márton Gyöngyösi, Jobbik’s representative in the European Parliament, reported on his Facebook page that about two hundred local Hungarians in Brussels took part in a forum on Tuesday with Márki-Zay.

During this forum, at which opposition MEPs Katalin Cseh and Sándor Rónai also spoke, Péter Márki-Zay said that many had voted for Fidesz because there was no alternative. “But now,” he said, “you have someone to vote for: me.”

Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi, one of the organizers of the Brussels tour, wrote earlier in a press release that Péter Márki-Zay would be meeting with several European Commissioners on Wednesday and Thursday, but also with representatives of nearly every group in the European Parliament, from left and right-wing alike.

In addition, European institutes and think tanks in Brussels have also been actively interested in the opposition prime minister-designate, who will sit down with “the heads of leading conservative and social democratic foundations,” read the press release from the Socialist MEP.

[Index][Photo: István Ujhelyi / Facebook]

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.