Momentum Movement began collecting signatures Monday in support of a referendum it wants held to repeal the government’s controversial NGO law. The upstart centrist party has around four months to collect 200,000 signatures to force the question to referendum.
Momentum activists were collecting signatures in support of the referendum Tuesday at the Móricz Zsigmond metro station underpass in Budapest when MP from the ruling coalition István Hollik (KDNP) began a press conference before a number of news cameras. Hollik told the press that “Momentum’s signature collection is nothing more than the newest action of the Soros Guard with which it is protecting the Soros network.”
Hollik’s sentence was cut short as Momentum vice-chairman Tamás Soproni approached the microphones and exclaimed that it “is unbelievably outrageous that Mr Hollik comes here and gets out of his well-heated car and attacks those who protect national interests.”
Hollik and Soproni spoke over one another as bystanders looked on, and Soproni challenged the KDNP MP to a debate on the issue of civil society, and asked him whether he could promise that, if 200,000 signatures were gathered, the Fidesz-KDNP parliamentary majority would allow a referendum on the issue and not avoid it as they have done in previous cases. Hollik accused Soproni of disturbing the press conference and insisted that he have a chance to speak, whereupon Soproni broke in and accused Fidesz-KDNP of “spending billions on billboard advertisements all over the country while tens of thousands die in the hospitals because there is a lack of doctors and equipment.”
After further argument, Soproni allowed Hollik to continue the press conference, which he concluded by handing two t-shirts reading “Soros Guard – Signature collection: So it stays secret who Soros is paying!” to Momentum spokesman Miklós Hajnal, who did not accept them.
A video of the encounter, posted to YouTube by Fidesz, can be viewed below.