picture of press conference

The Orbán government is planning to introduce austerity measures once the election is over, said politicians from the Unity for Hungary opposition on Wednesday, representing the DK, Jobbik, and Dialogue parties.

Jobbik Vice-President Dániel Z. Kárpát said that the 750 billion Ft. (US $2.42 billion) worth of budget cuts, which the government announced in “in a shifty way” before the holidays, are already quite painful.

If we include new measures announced in the past few weeks, we can see that the government wants to cut more than 1.1 trillion Ft. ($3.55 billion).

-he added.

About 73% of this amount is confidential, said the Jobbik politician, as the government has not revealed which projects it intends to put off or cuts it plans to make to health care. The united opposition has committed itself to not introducing austerity measures, and if it is able to form the next government, its first goal will be to set the economy straight.

Hungary’s economic problems are multiplying, stated Anett Bősz, deputy leader of the DK parliamentary caucus. The government is unable to deal with runaway inflation, fuel and other energy prices out of control, and Hungary’s public debt has reached a ten-year high, she said.

Bősz noted that we don’t know which projects have been affected by 400 billion Ft. ($1.29 billion) in cuts to the Investment Fund, but whatever they are, cutting back on investments is a sign that the country is abandoning its development plans for the medium and long-term. What the country needs are responsible fiscal and monetary policies, and investment should not suffer because the government is now handing out social welfare benefits, Bősz said.

Dialogue spokesman Richárd Barabás claimed that over the past decade the government had pursued corruption-laden, wasteful, massive, and unnecessary development projects instead of investing in people. The Deputy Mayor of Újbuda said that the Prime Minister, “guided by vile political revenge,” had punished municipalities where the residents did not support Fidesz’s agenda.

“The opposition parties believe in a policy that views local governments as partners,” Barabás added.

[Magyar Hang]

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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.