"Annus Horribilis", Gyurcsány Sums Up 2016

  • 29 Dec 2016 10:00 AM
"Annus Horribilis", Gyurcsány Sums Up 2016
Political competition in Hungary will heat up next year and the opposition will have to create common purpose to stand up to the Fidesz party and its "total political warfare it has started against Hungary", Democratic Coalition (DK) leader Ferenc Gyurcsány told a press conference. The former prime minister summed up the past year, declaring that 2016 had been an "annus horribilis" for Hungary.

At the same time, Fidesz sustained two blows: it failed to secure sufficient turnout in the referendum on migrant quotas to make it legally binding and it did not drum up enough support to change the constitution to reflect its policy on migration.

Gyurcsány said it was likely that Fidesz would intensify its campaign in the next few months against civil organisations and the independent press.

He chided Fidesz for "using the migration issue to whip up fear instead of governing". It could have guaranteed security with an effective refugee policy and by using the tools of the secret services, he added.

Gyurcsány said he did not dispute that the country's economic indicators were favourable in certain ways, but Hungary's growth rate was falling behind in the region and the country was slipping back.

In 2016, Hungary became one of the European Union's three poorest member states, millions are living in poverty, and many of those have jobs, he said. The DK leader also criticised the state of Hungarian health care, saying never before had so many patients been left to fall back on their own resources.

Also, wages are dramatically low and hundreds of thousands of young people are leaving the country, he said.
Gyurcsány said that the democratic opposition would continue its preparations for the 2018 general election in the hope of creating a better Hungary by unseating the government.

He said no official talks between the opposition parties had yet taken place concerning who should stand as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's challenger and he dismissed related rumours reported in the pro-government press.

Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.

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