Photo: MTI

Socialists call for scaled-back August 20 celebrations

The Socialists have called on the government to scale back the fireworks on August 20, Hungary's national holiday, and "use the money saved to help those in need".

Party deputy leader Imre Komjathi told an online press conference on Friday that the costs of the fireworks in 2009, the last year of a Socialist government in Hungary, came to 212 million forints (EUR 520,000). This year, the government is shelling out over one billion for the same purpose, he said.

“At a time when millions of Hungarians live in existential insecurity, fireworks worth 212 million would be a dignified way to celebrate the founding of the Hungarian state,” he said.

The Socialist party had proposed earlier to introduce 20,000-forint monthly vouchers for families in need, to be spent exclusively on basic foods, he said.

“In the current situation, Hungary needs more bread and higher wages and pensions. Rather than blinding people, we should feed them,” Komjathi said.

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