picture of people with petition papers

“Primaries, a referendum, then a nice little change of government,” began Ágnes Kunhalmi in her briefing on the start of the united opposition’s signature collection effort on Wednesday. The opposition needs to get 200,000 signatures together to hold a national referendum on the following questions, which were proposed by Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony in the summer:

Do you agree that the maximum period for the payment of unemployment benefits should be 270 days?

Do you agree that the National Assembly should repeal Act LXXXI of 2021 on the Fudan Hungary University Foundation regarding the transfer of assets to the Fudan Hungary University Foundation?

Kunhalmi, co-chair of the Hungarian Socialist Party, said that the referendum is just the starting point for the change of government, and that not only will opposition coalition parties help with collecting signatures, but also union members, civilians, and the Two-Tailed Dog Party.

On Fudan University, Momentum politician Miklós Hajnal said that the Fudan referendum question is about the future of Hungary, about whether we want to sell the future of our children and grandchildren to one of the institutions of the Chinese Communist Party.

Antal Csárdi from LMP said that building Student City, the proposed location for the Chinese university campus, is important for both Budapest and the country, and that the project provides an opportunity to alleviate the housing problems in the capital.

Dániel Z. Kárpát from Jobbik called Hungary’s leadership the cruelest government in Europe today, adding that they have helped oligarchs during the pandemic-induced emergency, but given up on those who lost their jobs or have had their income reduced.

László Varju from the Democratic Coalition talked about the fact that the current length of unemployment benefits puts people in a vulnerable situation, and many people just prefer to leave the country instead.

Bence Tordai also mentioned the other referendum launched by the government on “child protection” issues, which is expected to appear on next year’s ballot. Referring to the content of the government’s referendum, the Dialogue politician said that there’s no need to protect Hungary from “gender reassignment kindergartens,” but from the deep crisis into which the Orbán government has plunged the country.

[Index][Photo: Gergely Karácsony / Facebook]

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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.