The opposition Socialist Party (MSZP) has collected over 100,000 signatures in support of its initiative for a referendum on protecting natural lakes in Hungary, lawmaker Ágnes Kunhalmi said on Friday.
The party’s goal is to protect Lake Balaton and other natural lakes, and to prevent public beaches from being inundated with construction, Kunhalmi told an online press conference.
“[Ruling] Fidesz is on its own on this issue,” she said, arguing that the matter of protecting Lake Balaton transcended partisan leanings. “It’s now oligarchs linked to Fidesz versus the rest of the country.”
She added that the National Election Committee (NVB) will decide on whether or not to greenlight the party’s referendum bid on Monday.
Socialist Party leader Bertalan Tóth said the party expects the NVB to maintain a standard that is not “cowardly” and to give the people a chance to decide on whether Fidesz’s “colonisation” of the area around Lake Balaton should be stopped.
If the referendum questions are approved, the Socialists will invite the other opposition parties to join the referendum campaign, Tóth said.
The Socialists’ referendum bid contains three questions. The first will ask people whether public beaches on natural lakes should be accessible free of charge. The second and third questions will ask whether parliament should impose a ban on selling public beaches and undertaking construction projects on them.
Featured photo illustration by Zoltán Balogh/MTI