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“Seven biggest lies”: Bajnai’s response to WSJ PM interview

History

Observers of electoral politics in Hungary surely expected a return salvo from the left after the Wall Street Journal devoted 1,000 words or so to a Viktor Orbán interview/profile last Thursday. Sure enough, that response from Együtt 2014-Dialogue for Hungary leader Gordon Bajnai came with his counter-statements appearing in the ‘Journal, among other international media.  

On his party’s official website, Bajnai called the prime minister and his administration “out of touch” while anti-privatization measures such as the National Tobacco Shop schemed have “undermined any trust in the state the people may have had left.” Bajnai cited what he called “the seven biggest lies” in the WSJ interview on his homepage, stating, among other claims, that the Hungarian economy is shrinking; the national debt is again increasing; and that unemployment has grown in the private sector under the current government. 

Finally, Bajnai claimed that rather than providing benefit to the middle class – “the impact of our economic policy has been clearly a strengthening of the middle class. If you don't want an economic crisis to become a political crisis, you need to defend the middle class,” Orbán had told the WSJ – the current government has in fact created taxation that is worse for 88% of the populace, making Hungary “a country for the top 10% [and] not the middle class, whose pay has decreased significantly.”

Meanwhile, back in the Wall Street Journal, Bajnai was quoted as stating that “We seem to live in two different countries: I live in Hungary but Mr. Orban lives in Orbanistan.”

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