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Orbán regime must go, say Socialists

Democrats must pull together "to overturn the regime of Viktor Orbán", which is marked by hopelessness and the inability to govern, the leader of the main opposition Socialist party said at a May 1 event.

Addressing a gathering of about 2,000 people in heavy rain at Budapest's Városliget, Attila Mesterházy said that one year ago the left had handed over a country fit to weather the storms of the economic crisis to the election winners. "Hungary had a solid international reputation and a stable economy. Today thousands are protesting for press freedom, pensions and century-old union laws," he said. Mesterházy said the elections, epitomized as a "revolution in the booths" by prime minister Viktor Orbán, have had millions of losers and only a few 10,000 winners.

He added that the forint had "collapsed" following the change of regime, job numbers are falling, the budget deficit had exceeded the full-year target in the first quarter, and hundreds of thousands have suffered income-loss due to the unfair tax system. The government's new measures are increasing social inequity, as it "takes from those who already have little."