The above-mentioned suggestions made by the candidate for prime minister of the left are not surprising in the sense that
Márki-Zay’s statements evoke the pre-2010 socialist world
Péter Márki-Zay, the candidate for prime minister of the left, suggested that instead of fixing the ceiling administratively at HUF 480, a better solution for the increase of fuel prices would be if people purchased smaller or hybrid cars, or they shared cars rather than going to work individually. In addition, the mayor of Hódmezővásárhely suggested that “less water should be used, less electricity should be used, less gas should be used” as an alternative to overhead cost reduction and called it stupidity that world market prices “could be stopped at the border”. Regarding the statements in question, Századvég mapped the similarities between Márki-Zay’s proposals for “crisis management” and the views of pre-2010 socialist policy makers and their reactions to socio-economic challenges.
The left supported austerity in the past as well
the response of the domestic left-liberal forces to emerging crisis situations has traditionally been the increase of the burden on people and businesses.
- Between 2002 and 2010, left-wing governments raised taxes more than 40 times.
- Ferenc Gyurcsány abolished the tax benefit for families with one or two children and reduced it by 60 percent for families with three children.
- In 2007 and 2008, more than 14,000 teachers were dismissed, more than 100 schools were closed, 748 schools were merged into other institutions, leaving a total of 1,000 settlements without local schools.
- Higher education tuition fee, hospital day fee, and doctor visit fee, which were abolished in the 2008 referendum.
- Schöpf-Merei Ágost Kórház és Anyavédelmi Központ, the Országos Pszichiátriai és Neurológiai Intézet (OPNI), and the Svábhegyi Állami Gyermekgyógyintézet were closed, and Szent Margit Kórház, Budai Gyermekkórház and Szent János Kórház were downsized.
- Public sector wages were frozen, 13th month payment was abolished.
- Finally, the 2009 and 2010 pension adjustment were withdrawn, and the 13th month pension was abolished,
among other things.
Péter Márki-Zay follows a failed socialist trend
However, the indifference of the pre-2010 left-liberal bloc to the day-to-day problems of people and economic actors was embodied not only in the implementation of these austerity measures, but also, like Márki-Zay’s current manifestos, in the communication of left-wing politicians. Ferenc Gyurcsány, criticising employers, stated at the meeting of the National Interest Reconciliation Council in 2006 that
“You can leave Hungary! If you please, you can leave us! There! You can go!”
In the same year, János Kóka, former Minister of Economy in the Gyurcsány government, reacted to the dismissal of the employees of the ministry headed by him by saying that “Frogs are not asked about draining the swamp”. Kóka also considered the role of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences that “The fields of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences that do not directly serve competitiveness should be levelled to the ground, because only dusting papers are produced”. It should also be remembered that János Veres, Gyurcsány’s former Minister of Finance, in order to disguise the real economic situation of Hungary, forbade his staff in the ministry to make more precise calculations on the development of budgetary processes before the 2006 parliamentary elections, because he believed it would have become “a political issue”, as “Hungary is such a country”.
Thus, it is clear that regarding
both the proposals,
which would put more and more burden on people and businesses,
and the political style of Márki-Zay are fully in line with the trend followed by the left for decades.
It should also be emphasised that Hungarian voters have rejected the return of the failed socialist policy in three consecutive parliamentary elections since 2010.