August 2nd, 2017

Socialists rally support for referendum bids aimed for fairer, more liveable Hungary

The referendums initiated on the introduction of a salary cap for the heads of state-owned companies and making December 24 a public holiday would serve to create a fairer, more liveable Hungary, the Socialist Party’s candidate for prime minister said. It is only natural that the Socialists are supporting the referendum bids on both issues because they aim to establish the broadest coalition among those who want change in Hungary, László Botka told a press conference.

Botka said that if his party regains power, no one in the public sector would be allowed to make more money than the president of the republic. As regards the other referendum bid, he said making December 24 a public holiday would make working people’s lives easier. He said the aims of both referendums were also in line with his party’s election platform.

The Szeged mayor said the greatest sin of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government was that Hungary had become divided while wealth inequality had risen to extraordinary levels. Botka said the upper 10% had nine times the amount of wealth as the poorest 10% while forty percent of the population lives below subsistence level. Socialist Party chairman Gyula
Molnár said his party was ready to put its full organisational strength behind the signature drives for both referendum bids.

Gábor Vágó, former politician of the green LMP party, who initiated the referendum on the introduction of a salary cap as a private individual, said Hungary must act quickly on its mounting wage tension, arguing that the level of inequality between the many and the elite was becoming unbearable. Asked how it could be ensured that the right people are put in charge of state-owned companies after wages are cut, Vágó said that managers’ wages were also too high in the private sector. How the state approaches this is a political question, he argued.

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