Jobbik chairman Gábor Vona calls for an end to social divisions in Hungary

January 30, 2016

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Jobbik co-founder and chairman Gábor Vona told party faithful on Friday that Hungary’s radical right-wing party “needs to start practically governing in certain areas” and that the party planned to launch a “real national consultation” in 2016.

In a speech delivered to over two thousand party members in Budaörs, the head of Hungary’s second-largest parliamentary delegation said “there are societal and political tasks the opposition must perform if the government fails to do so or behaves irresponsibly.”

Among other things Vona criticized the government for failing to reduce social divisions, and he called on his followers to “build bridges.”  He said that neither Fidesz nor the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) can or will do anything to reduce social divisions because, in his opinion, such divisions create the need for the two parties, whereas Jobbik “understands people’s pain in all directions”.

Vona said Hungary’s political culture was becoming “dangerously base”, identifying  Árpád Habony (so-called informal advisor to the prime minister tasked with building a pro-government media empire) and 888.hu publisher Gábor G. Fodor as the “engines of the downward spiral”.  He said that by comparison “a snail has backbone” and Machiavelli was “a romantic teenage girl.”  Vona said it was necessary to demonstrate a standard “below which it is not permitted to go” lest “society absorb this phenomenon.”

He said the Orbán government considers itself to be above the people, asking rhetorically “Is this its idea of a middle-class Hungary?”.  The Jobbik leader said Fidesz had fought so much against socialism that it had built up another form of socialism, creating the need for a truly popular party.

Vona said it was necessary to protect freedom of individuals and society from government plans to rule by decree by modifying the constitution.  He said that if protecting the country was at stake, the government would have Jobbik’s support, but that “we aren’t stupid and we see where the game is going.”

He said people are not only afraid of terrorism but of “Fidesz’s fury” as well, and his party wanted to protect them from both.

Vona said it was necessary to “embrace sectors that were in the worst shape” and “mobilize them as among those for which Jobbik would take over responsibility from the government.”

His party would like to hold a national consultation on corruption, health-care and education with the involvement of civil society, experts and stakeholders. In solidarity with them, Jobbik could force the government to step back.

The party would start working on this as of Monday. He would personally prepare the consultation and he planned to visit all the county seats of government.

The Jobbik chairman said of corruption that they would deal with questions of the declaration of personal assets, immunity from prosecution and the statute of limitations.  In education they would address the functioning of the Klebelsberg Institution Maintenance Center (Klik), teachers’ wages, the overburdened state of schoolchildren, unemployment among those with university diplomas, technical training, questions of segregation and integration, as well as violence in the schools.

On Hungary’s underfunded health-care system, Vona said the system of general practitioners was being “held together by the holy spirit”, and that ambulances and hospitals are missing equipment.  He mentioned the “gratitude money” paid to doctors, waiting lists and how proper health-care was becoming a luxury item. It was necessary to beat back the medicine lobby and he cited group sport as a method of prevention.

The Jobbik leader said the European Union was sick, and that instead of “viable solutions” its leaders are “glorifying disease.” “They are either stupid, aberrant, criminals, or all three” said Vona, adding that Jobbik’s goal was the creation of a Europe that was “strong, united and consisting of varied nations.”

Vona delivered his speech before a new logo in the shape of a bridge featuring the national colors.  Written on his dais was “The true people’s party”.  During his speech, a quote by statesman Count István Széchenyi (1791-1860) was frequently projected on the rear screen: “Everything depends on us, we should only want it!”

Upon the conclusion of Vona’s speech, party vice-chairman Levente Murányi, a hero of the 1956 revolution, presented historian Gyula Popély with the Gergely Pongrátz Cross founded by the party.

The hisorian delivered a short speech about the importance of patriotism.  “In addition to loving and respecting before all else and doing whatever we can for the truncated Hungarian homeland, we must always remain conscious that this homeland has detached parts as well which in our knowledge, in our past, and hopefully in our future will once again form a unified whole.”