The cost of living crisis in Hungary was primarily caused by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, MEP Klara Dobrev of the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said on Sunday.
“This crisis will last as long as Orbán stays in power,” she said in her first speech as Hungary’s shadow prime minister.
She said her party had formed a shadow cabinet because “Hungary is now further from Europe than at any time in the last thirty years. The crisis is deepening day by day and what we are witnessing is the beginning of the collapse. If we don’t take this step now, it will become more difficult later.”
Orbán has had “absolute power” for 12 years and during that time he has always blamed others for Hungary’s ills, Dobrev said. Now he blames all problems on the war in Ukraine, she added.
However, the war cannot explain why Hungary’s inflation rate is twice as high as that of other European countries. Nor can it explain the weakening of the forint, the sharp rise in public utility costs and the dramatic decline in health and education standards, Dobrev said.
“The answer is very simple: what the prime minister is saying is not true,” she said, insisting Orban was hiding behind the war to avoid being blamed for what is happening in the country.
However, the long-awaited peace will not bring Hungarians the life they otherwise deserve; it would not lead to improvements in health care and education, higher wages and pensions, Dobrev said.
She blamed Orbán, and not the war in Ukraine, for Sunday’s European Commission proposal to suspend some EU funds to Hungary.
In their view, for the past 12 years and during the election campaign, the prime minister has deceived the entire nation when he promised security.
“He deceived the nation, his own constituency, and lied about his plans and goals,” she said.
Hungary does not have access to the recovery funds because the EU no longer trusts Orbán and sees no guarantee that the money granted to Hungary will not be stolen, Dobrev said.
In their view, Hungary could more easily reach an agreement with the European Union, stabilize its economy and the forint, and curb inflation if Orbán weren’t in office tomorrow.
Dobrev called the Orbán government the source of all ills and said DK had formed a shadow cabinet to be prepared to rule the country. She insisted that every possible effort should be made to pave the way for the collapse of the Orbán government as soon as possible.
“There is no life for Hungary outside the European Union,” Dobrev said, adding that the country’s exit from the 27-nation bloc would mean a euro exchange rate of over 500 forints per euro, bankrupt farms, huge unemployment, a permanent Rate would entail inflation over 30 percent, travel restrictions and hardship.