Is it part of the MSZP EP campaign that there has been a disciplinary action against Attila Mesterházy?
No. It is in Fidesz's interest to make news out of our internal affairs. The power is incapable of handling the fact that we, Socialists, have proclaimed new politics, successfully managed the primary election and created the opposition action unity. Only Fidesz propaganda publications try to make it seem as if there were significant internal fights within the Socialist Party. As to the reality of such articles, former defamation lawsuits have been lost by Origo, PestiSrácok and Hír TV alike and ended in rectification.
But the former party president was accused by one of MSZP's local leaders of having fed right-wing media outlets information.
Undoubtedly, both leaks and what may seem like leaks are terribly damaging as they can poison a party's life. But on Thursday, the MSZP board will order the election period, that is, MSZP will switch to campaign operation mode, so every politician will have to work on the success of EP voting and the unity of the party. We have a program, we have excellent candidates, we have begun to recruit activists and vote count commission delegates, so we are moving forward.
Aren’t Socialist MPs somewhat discouraged in their will to fight by that fact that after trying to block the adoption of the slave law in Parliament, the National Assembly takes one and a half month's salary away from many Socialist representatives on the proposal of László Kövér?
I am very proud of our representatives that they were willing to step out of their comfort zone to defend our convictions. If this had to happen to prompt meaningful common thinking and action between opposition parties, NGOs and trade unions, then it was already worth it.
While people consider the common list to be the most effective tool, increasingly less people believe in their feasibility. For this reason, however, the popularity of small parties is fading, according to public opinion polls, while that of MSZP and Jobbik is stagnating. What is the point to joint mobilization considering the above?
The support of MSZP and Dialogue has increased, their voting base has become more active. If I only look at our own interests, we would not need a common list. But I still believe that this would be the most effective way to suppress Fidesz. However, DK was the first to retreat from the idea and the other parties wouldn’t have it, either. I hope everyone can mobilize all their sympathizers. I have no doubt that MSZP-Dialogue and the Jobbik will gain seats, probably DK, too, but while I am cheering for them , I would not bet a big sum on LMP and Momentum. If they do not reach five percent, their votes will strengthen Fidesz and increase the number of their representatives.
Not worried that Fidesz will run an MSZP-specific campaign?
Not worried at all, quite the opposite! Viktor Orbán, after he had chased CEU away, deprived the Academy of its independence, made it impossible for NGOs to function, and maneuvered himself into a particularly difficult situation by attacking a politician of his party group, the European People's Party, on government billboards. The fact that he has now found socialist Frans Timmermans is perfectly normal: the most consistent opponent of extreme, populist, right-wing half-dictators is the European socialist movement, including MSZP. I am pleased to take on this fight.
Can you get out of this fight victoriously? The government's narrative is that the EU, and European socialists in particular, are pouring migrants into Europe.
This is a huge lie, which the Union refuted in detail. And even if the government changes heads on the billboards, it still remains a huge lie. We focus on Hungarian people in our campaign entitled “Homeland. Love. Europe. ” We are striving for the Cabinet to withdraw the slave law so that Hungarian workers have the same rights as their European counterparts and receive the minimum wage that guarantees them the same standard of living. We fights so that nobody gets inferior education and healthcare here than in a Western European Member State. And we want to help young people as much as we can.
So then there is a common intention with the government, which has just announced a family protection action plan.
There are undeniably forward-looking initiatives in there, but it is for a very narrow layer. According to MSZP, as many families should be helped as possible. There is a need for an intensive social housing program, because without this, many people have no chance of creating a home. In addition, the family allowance must be doubled so that poorer families can feel safe. As far as the family tax benefit is concerned, if a working couple cannot take full advantage of it, simply because they do not earn enough, then the part that parents are not entitled to should be given to them as support. And to make sure that mothers who want to work next to having a child get the opportunity to do so, part-time work should be made available to them. There are two prerequisites for this: one is not to just talk about nursery places but create them. The other is that the mothers should take home a decent wage, so the difference between the income of women and men must be eliminated. Because this is what Europe is Europe, not scapegoat creation and fear mongering.