Govt reshuffle to bring no real change, say opposition parties

Budapest, May 11 (MTI) – Hungary’s main opposition Socialists said the government changes announced by the prime minister on Friday would bring no genuine change in government policy.

The small opposition LMP said the changes showed that the government was “speeding in the wrong direction”.


The leftist Democratic Coalition said that replacing the chief negotiator for IMF talks was admitting to the ineffectiveness of negotiations so far.


The radical nationalist Jobbik said personnel changes alone will not help solve the country’s problems.


Csaba Horvath, deputy leader of the Socialist party, said instead of the announced changes, Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy should resign.


“When the fish rots from the head down, it is not the tail that should be chopped off,” Horvath said.


He said the changes were a mere exchange of posts between already influential politicians and would not bring a genuine change in policies.


Benedek Javor, leader of the LMP parliamentary group, said the government reshuffle was a mistake and it was now the “political thugs” who would be given positions. He said the politicians now promoted, such as Lazar and Rogan, were responsible for most of the tax laws that are primarily responsible for the current economic crisis. They are also responsible for laws detrimental to Hungarian democracy, such as the media law.


These appointments will strengthen mistaken policies and political conflicts, Javor said.


The leftist Democratic Coalition said in a statement that “the Hungarian economy is in a state of slump, inflation is soaring and unemployment is permanently high. The tax system favours the rich and hurts the poor and corruption thrives.” Next to these, it is of little importance who takes which position within the government. The whole Orban-regime is bad and damaging and should be toppled in 2014, the statement said.


Jobbik lawmaker Daniel Z Karpat said an economic turnabout was needed based on the elimination of the flat tax, but, instead, the government pursues austerities as dictated by the IMF and the EU.


Orban announced earlier on Friday that Mihaly Varga would take over as Hungary’s chief negotiator for financial aid with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Janos Lazar would be heading the Prime Minister’s Office and Antal Rogan is proposed to replace him as leader of the Fidesz parliamentary group.

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