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Opposition parties on Orbán’s keynote speech: PM failed to address country’s ‘real problems’

Hungarian opposition parties on Saturday reacted to a keynote speech by Viktor Orbán, saying the prime minister had failed to address Hungary's "real problems". Commenting on Orbán's speech today assessing the state of the nation over the past year, the Democratic Coalition said in a statement that Orbán had "made a desperate attempt" to explain away "his government's failings" over the past 12 years.

The leftist party said Orbán had become isolated in Europe and had lost Hungary’s EU funding as well as his European allies.

The right-wing Jobbik party’s leader Marton Gyongyosi said Orbán was “a danger to Hungary”, and called the prime minister “Putin’s last ally in Europe” who wanted “Hungary out of the European Union”. “Orbán preaches peace, but he’s at war with his European allies…” he said.

Under Orbán’s watch, Hungarians were witnessing the highest food-price inflation in Europe, he said, and he accused the prime minister of waging “a war against teachers” and “cheating nurses” out of a promised pay increase.

LMP lawmaker Mate Kanasz-Nagy said in a video on Facebook that Orbán in his speech had shirked responsibility, while failing to explain how the government intended to handle the country’s “suffocating” energy dependence.

The radical Mi Hazank party said Orbán in his speech should have unveiled a plan to create a national economy based on the food industry with a view to halting “brutal” inflation. He said the population was dwindling, Hungarians were getting poorer, and people found it hard to afford basic foods.

The liberal Momentum party’s leader Ferenc Gelencser said in a statement that politics in Hungary was “a nightmare” of “lies played on a loop by blind populists”. He said price caps were “not working” and that Orbán’s work-based society did not provide the security of a livelihood. Furthermore, he said that under the Fidesz government, “Russia is our friend and the EU is our enemy”.

Agnes Kunhalmi, the co-leader of the Socialist Party, said in a statement that Orbán had shifted the blame for the country’s woes to factors such as the war and the EU from his own policymaking, and the prime minister “repeated his lie that the opposition is pro-war”. Also, Orbán’s charge that the opposition demanded the abolition of price caps was “untrue”, she said.

The liberal Parbeszed party said in statement that Orbán should have admitted in his speech that “Hungarian food inflation in 2022 was top of the European scoreboard” and that families were overwhelmed by utility bills they are unable to pay”. Orbán, it added, had also failed to take the blame for Hungary being the “shame of Europe” and admit that he was alone in supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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