Once again, a sharp-worded exchange took place in Parliament on Monday. For the third week in a row, opposition Jobbik president Péter Jakab’s microphone was switched off. Prime Minister Orbán, who was debating him, also used harsh words, but he was not given a warning.
In his speech, Jobbik leader Péter Jakab recalled at the very beginning the record fine of nearly 10 million forints he received last week for calling ruling Fidesz MPs and then personally the House Speaker a “ficsúr-” a pejorative word used to insult the rich.
“I would like to ask you as an old communist, sorry, young democrat,” Jakab said.
“What would you call a great fan of expensive ladies’ handbags, [minister of the PM’s cabinet Office] Antal Rogán? What would you call [Fidesz MP charged with corruption] István Boldog, who, according to the news, went to Vienna to buy luxury suits with his bribe money?
He added: “You are punishing a nation, not for tens of millions, but for thousands of billions.”
Viktor Orbán was not subtle in his response.
According to the prime minister, Péter Jakab is the leader of a parliamentary party, which is a serious business, and for a while they took him seriously.
“But today we all heard that you are operating in a different genre, you are in fact a comedian who makes a clown of yourself in front of our eyes week after week.”
This “clown act” is costing taxpayers a lot, 6 million forints (EUR 17,309) a month, the prime minister said, referring to Jakab’s salary and other state allowances.
Orbán said former socialist prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány is the boss of the opposition alliance, who employs Jakab not for his brains but as a clown.
In his reply, Péter Jakab asked the prime minister:
“What should we call you? A thief?, after which Deputy Speaker, János Latorcai, who chaired the session, warned the Jobbik leader that he would be forced to silence Jakab if he continued.
Jakab then said: Orbán and the members of Fidesz “would make for a complete prison team,” and raised a Hungarian flag with “Make thieves pay!” written on it.
At this point, the deputy speaker switched off Jakab’s microphone.
In response, Viktor Orbán said that Jobbik was the most corrupt Hungarian party, and that it was for sale even before the last election, and “then it was bought by a billionaire [referring to Orbán’s former ally turned enemy, businessman Lajos Simicska], and now it is bought by another billionaire, Ferenc Gyurcsány.”
Viktor Orbán also gave a firm answer to opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) lawmaker Gergely Arató’s question.
In his speech, the DK politician recalled Viktor Orbán’s Friday radio interview in which he said that the pandemic has hit everyone, and ”It’s not only businesses that have been hit, but also us workers, who live from wages and salaries – of whom I am one.” He then asked the Prime Minister (whose gross monthly salary is HUF 2,718,000, EUR 7,841) to tell everyone what difficulties he had to face during the pandemic. (The average gross monthly wage in Hungary is 435,200 forints (EUR 1,247), according to the Central Statistical Office).
Orbán replied that the political Left “only wanted to bring down” the government during the crisis. He said that people who do not live on capital income, like Ferenc Gyurcsány, live from wages. He considers himself an employee, and his salary is linked to Hungary’s average income, which he believes is the “right thing.”
Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI