Opposition declares objection to govt’s treatment of local councils, epidemic response

Hungarian opposition parties have jointly declared their objection to the Orbán government "bleeding dry local councils" and its "irresponsible epidemic handling and crisis management".

“Robbing our cities is not governance,” according to the statement issued by the opposition alliance on Thursday, signed by party leaders Andras Fekete-Gyor (Momentum), Ferenc Gyurcsany (Democratic Coalition), Peter Jakab (Jobbik), Agnes Kunhalmi and Bertalan Toth (Socialists), Timea Szabo and Gergely Karacsony (Parbeszed), Erzsebet Schmuck and Mate Kanasz-Nagy (LMP).

The statement accuses the government of “abandoning government responsibility in the hardest of times as well as millions of Hungarians”.

It also charges the government with using public funds to support its own clientele rather than handling the epidemic and “the economic crisis”, spending “hundreds of billions” on stadiums, motorsports and the prime minister’s residence.

The opposition alliance said halving local business taxes would not provide meaningful help to troubled businesses but it would jeopardise public services provided by local councils across the country by depriving them of vital revenue, forcing many into bankruptcy.

The statement says local councils run by the opposition would have to contend with austerity imposed by the central government seven times as severe as that affecting Fidesz-led councils. Further, a “vast majority” of county seats run by opposition mayors were excluded from central compensation funding, it added. Fully, 2.5 million Hungarians living in opposition-run areas would suffer as a result, they said.

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