The Democratic Coalition (DK) wants Hungary’s jobseekers’ allowance to be lengthened to nine months from the current three while there is an economic crisis, Klára Dobrev, the opposition party’s MEP, said on Monday. “We’re on the precipice of an abyss called recession,” Dobrev told an online press conference, adding that owing to “austerity”, thousands of Hungarians were on course to lose their livelihood. Dobrev said all types of jobless allowance and benefits should be reviewed and possibly increased in anticipation of a likely recession. DK’s shadow prime minister proposed increasing the net amount of the 133,000 forint (EUR 314) jobseekers’ allowance to at least 160,000 forints.
In a statement, Fidesz said in response that DK’s “pro-sanctions stance” would lead to recession and unemployment in the country. Hungary was on the verge of collapse under the government of Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, while it drove the country to the verge of bankruptcy, the statement said. Unemployment doubled under the stewardship of Gyurcsány, while Hungarians were impoverished on the back of utility price increases, austerity measures and high tax rates, the ruling party added. Fidesz attributed the “energy crisis, recession and unemployment in Europe” to Brussels and the European left wing “forcing sanctions” onto EU member states.