Opposition parties and leading politicians commented on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s latest announcement of further restrictions. All political parties agree that the new measures are indeed necessary, however, claiming that they come too late. According to Hungary’s opposition, the situation would be a lot less severe if the government had started to defend the country against the epidemic much earlier.
“The epidemic and crisis management of the Orbán government can be summed up in one sentence: quick fix instead of a long term solution!” opposition Momentum wrote on Facebook. According to the party, for several months now the Orbán government has been taking measures only for the sake of keeping up the illusion of taking action, endangering the lives of thousands of Hungarians and tens of thousands of jobs.
On Facebook, Democratic Coalition wrote that the reason for Hungary’s “shutdown” was Viktor Orbán who “is appeasing Hungarians with empty words instead of deeds.”
Centrist green LMP said that although the restrictions were necessary and deserved support, they came late.
In a social media post, Jobbik wrote that with the new restrictions Viktor Orbán finally admitted that “he let the virus dictate the pace.”
The restrictions came late. Fidesz was more interested in preserving its own popularity than protecting the lives of Hungarians”
According to the Socialist Party (MSZP), the Prime Minister’s Monday announcement finally includes substantive steps, but he certainly got to this point too late. For weeks the government has been “idly watching” the increasingly dramatic development of the numbers, and called for the help of the elderly, families, and workers.
“We are glad that Viktor Orbán and his government have taken up several of Párbeszéd’s proposals, it has been long overdue,” opposition Párbeszéd wrote on social media.
The party continued by saying that should the government have introduced stricter measures to curb the epidemic instead of campaigning against their party’s co-leader, Budapest mayor Gergely Karácsony, there wouldn’t be more than 2,500 dead due to the epidemic.
In a Facebook post, independent MP Bernadett Szél (formerly of LMP) also criticized the government, similar to other opposition parties, for failing to act in time. According to Szél, it is not true that the Orbán government lacked any special authority, it was simply “lacking political will.” In connection with testing, the politician said the government’s performance was “beneath all criticism,” as Orbán left the country to operate without providing the conditions for testing, primarily for mass testing and contact tracing.
In the featured photo illustration Párbeszéd co-leader Tímea Szabó. Photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI