Fidesz-KDNP representatives of the National Assembly voted in Párbeszéd lawmaker Tímea Szabó’s hefty fine for mixing the Chinese flag with Fidesz’s logo in the wake of debates on Fudan University’s establishment in Budapest. The opposition politician will have to pay some HUF 9.7 million (EUR 27,000).
Back on June 15th, Szabó put a Chinese flag with a Fidesz logo on it on the outside of the lectern from which she was speaking. She was protesting against Fudan University‘s arrival (a hot topic at the time), with her party’s other leader, incumbent Budapest mayor Gergely Karácsony taking a leading role in the protests against the government’s move, which in their view would be completed at the expense of the Student City project.
The reasoning behind the decision includes the Párbeszéd co-leader disregarding the House Rules- her actions leading to the disruption of the normal course of the assembly meeting while she was obstructing and disrupting the speech of the State Secretary, who was trying to respond to her. In addition, this wasn’t the first time that she had to be sanctioned in this parliamentary cycle.
House Speaker László Kövér (Fidesz) tabled a motion for a resolution in the case after Szabó asked the immunity committee and later parliament itself to repeal the penalty.
At the announcement of the decision, Szabó protested by wearing a t-shirt with the same pattern as the flag for which she had been fined.
FactSzabó’s fine amounts to roughly eight times the basic gross monthly salary of the MPs, which at the moment amounts to HUF 1,211,000 (EUR 3,340). The fine is also some 22.5 times the average gross monthly salary in Hungary, which in July amounted to HUF 433,700 (EUR 1,196).
Commenting on the situation, Szabó wrote that she raised the flag because “with the planned import of Fudan University, Orbán and Fidesz have become a branch of the Chinese Communist Party,” and she believes that “no matter how much the ‘janitor’ punishes me, I will fight against the Orbáns turning our country into a Chinese colony, then, now, and in the future!”
featured image via Tímea Szabó’s Facebook page