Opposition leaders have blasted Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for “lying about Hungary’s real situation” in an international press conference on Thursday.
László Lóránt Keresztes, the co-leader of green party LMP, said Orbán had deflected questions on major political issues that would define Hungary’s future. He said Orbán’s characterisation of the fight between pro-migration forces and their opponents ignored the debate over what caused migration and how the issue could be solved effectively. Meanwhile, Keresztes accused Orbán of being misleading over the project to expand Hungary’s Paks nuclear power plant. “Russian contracting partners have failed to obtain the necessary permits and Orbán himself has already admitted to delays in the project,” he added.
Timea Szabó, co-leader of Párbeszéd, said the prime minister had been evasive about the true state of Hungarian health care, education and wages. She said it was “telling” how Orbán had refused to answer questions about Lőrinc Mészáros, who last year topped Hungary’s rich list. Orbán at the same time had insisted that corruption was not tolerated in Hungary, Szabó said. In connection with the recent amendment to the labour code extending the number of possible overtime hours, Szabó said Orbán had ignored the opinion of Hungarians, insisting that 85% condemned the “slave law”.
Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi told the same journalists that Orbán’s press conference had signalled the start of his campaign for the upcoming European parliamentary elections. He said Orbán had “tried hard” to conceal how Hungarians were making their demands concerning the “slave law” “on the streets”. Ujhelyi insisted that Orbán showed he was scared of emerging cooperation between opposition forces. This suggested, he said, that “the opposition is on the right track”.
Gergely Arató, deputy group leader of the Democratic Coalition (DK), accused the prime minister of “lacking courage to answer real questions”. Orbán failed to explain why he had ordered the Hungarian army to purchase “luxury private jets” for his trips, Arató said. He also slammed Orbán for evading questions regarding asylum granted to former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. Meanwhile, Arató said DK will approach EPP leader Manfred Weber for a response to Orban’s claim that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro “upholds Christian Democratic values”. Arató also complained that he and several journalists had been banned from attending Orbán’s press conference.