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A lesson to be learned from the epidemic of recent months is that workers need more rights and protection, easier livelihoods and a more humane way of life, Ferenc Gyurcsány said in a speech broadcast online on May 1.

The leader of the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said the message of May 1 was more relevant than ever. It was blue-collar workers who were the first to be laid off due to the epidemic, not the bosses, who can work from home, he added. The people who make everyday life livable are the most vulnerable, the former Socialist prime minister said.

He noted that Hungary joined the European Union 16 years ago, on May 1, adding that his party’s position remained the same: Hungary’s place is in the EU.

Gyurcsány called for cooperation in the fight against the virus. He said most major global risks, from climate change, terrorism to the refugee crisis were all issues in which “we will succeed together but can only stumble individually.”

Meanwhile, the DK leader said that in the municipal elections last October, the opposition had learnt its lesson. The opposition parties may have had different views on the country and each other in the past decade and a half, he said, but they thought about the present and the past in essentially the same way, Gyurcsany said, calling for a unified opposition alternative and joint opposition candidates in the next election.

Featured photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI