Hungarian opposition parties on Saturday slammed Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for his speech at the annual summer university in Băile Tuşnad (Tusnádfürdő), in central Romania.
István Ujhelyi, an MEP for the Socialists, said in a statement that Orbán’s rhetoric could not mask that his family members and friends had “accumulated unprecedented wealth”. Ujhelyi accused the prime minister of creating “a high-handed kleptocratic mafia state” over the past few years. Neither could he mask “the near collapse of Hungary’s health-care system or the deliberate degrading of the education system,” he said. “Orbán has declared war on the Europe that subscribes to social values … while fully neglecting the everyday problems of working Hungarians.”
The group spokesman of the leftist Democratic Coalition (DK) berated Orbán’s insistence that the world was either Christian or liberal. “Individual freedom, a nation’s conservation and a strengthening Europe” were not mutually exclusive, Zsolt Gréczy told a press conference. “Liberal democracy means that I accept that anyone is free to decide about their own future, customs, feelings, belief and faith,” he said, adding that a liberal state governed by the rule of law strengthened the cohesion of nations. “It does not wish to weaken a common Europe of nations but to strengthen it,” he added. Ferenc Gyurcsány, DK’s leader said on Facebook that Orbán’s “decade-long struggle is about nothing other than subjugating Hungarians to his own dictatorial power and creating a sense of constant threat.”
The group leader of nationalist Jobbik said Orbán “has literally become a butcher of the nation, interested in nothing other than his own mad pursuit of power”. He is ready to sacrifice Hungary to achieve that goal, he added. In a statement, Péter Jakab accused the prime minister of isolating Hungarians from the rest of Europe. “Orbán has kicked his own allies in Europe so he could present himself as a freedom fighter in his own country,” he said. The prime minister has in the meantime “driven Hungary back into the arms of the Russians, an embrace we sought to escape 30 years ago,” Jakab said.
The green LMP party criticised Orbán for seeing the next 15 years in terms of his own destiny and political career instead of dealing with the future and destiny of the nation. LMP’s co-leader accused the prime minister of ignoring the needs of Hungarians who live in deep poverty as well as people excluded from education and health care. He said it was high time to focus on issues that were crucial to the nation’s survival. He also said it was regrettable that Orbán had failed to address the issue of climate change that would seriously affect the lives of Hungarians.
The Hungarian Liberals said “the country’s upward trajectory has been most put at risk by a prime minister who continues to pursue a policy of isolation … fear and hatred”.