Opposition politicians on Wednesday said they are filing a criminal complaint over the government’s billboard campaign depicting European Union sanctions as a bomb. Budapest district mayors of the Democratic Coalition (DK) are filing the complaint over scaremongering and threats of public endangerment. The billboards “are the latest example of the government’s money-wasting spree,” Sándor Szaniszló, mayor of Budapest’s 18th district, told a press conference ahead of a meeting of the city assembly. The EU’s war-related sanctions do not apply to Hungary and neither does the war pose a threat to the country, he said, adding that all sanctions against Russia have been approved by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Szaniszló said the billboards depicting a bomb with the word “sanctions” on it were misleading and diverted attention away from “the social crisis caused by the deeds of the Orbán government”. He said billboard company leaders would also be “complicit” if they did not take the billboards down.
Ruling Fidesz said in a statement that “Gyurcsány and company” wanted to remove the billboards because they “raise awareness of the destructive Brussels sanctions”, and the “National Consultation” survey on the subject. The sanctions ruin European economy and quality of life, the statement said. “There is an energy crisis, soaring energy and food prices, growing inflation and the burdens of families and companies are becoming brutal because of the sanctions,” it said.