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Less than half of voters would answer yes in referendum

Elections

Less than half of voters would answer yes to the seven questions on a referendum called for by parliamentary opposition Fidesz-KDNP, according to a survey conducted by Szonda Ipsos, national daily Népszabadság reported on Tuesday.

The survey of 1,000 people conducted between October 26 and 29, 85% of respondents said reforms are necessary and 71% said austerity measures would be needed. Of respondents who support the opposition, 54% agreed that austerity measures are called for. 39% of respondents said the referendum was necessary, but 68% said the expected cost, Ft 5 billion, was too much. 42% of respondents said they would be certain to vote and 12% said they were likely to vote. 34% said they would not vote.

Poll experts noted that those who said they would not vote were more likely to stick to their decision than those who said they would certainly vote. 25% of respondents said the opposition aimed to force the government to resign with the referendum, while 23% said the opposition was attempting to gain power from the move. At a press conference on October 24, Fidesz parliamentary group leader Tibor Navracsics read out the referendum questions Fidesz-KDNP had submitted to the National Election Committee.

They are:

"Do you agree that students in the state-subsidized higher education system should not have to pay tuition fees?"

"Do you agree that health care institutions and hospitals should remain under state or municipal ownership?"

"Do you agree that no visit fee should be charged for GPs' and dentists' services and services given to outpatients at hospitals?"

"Do you agree that medicines should only be sold at pharmacies?"

"Do you agree that pensioners should be allowed to work under the regulations in effect on October 23, 2006?"

"Do you agree that family farmers should have a preemption right when buying farm land under regulations in force from June 15, 2005 under Act LV/1994?"

"Do you agree that parliament should pass legislation to regulate, in addition to disciplinary and compensation liability, the special objective responsibility of the prime minister and members of the government for budget overshoots?”

The National Election Committee will start examining the referendum questions to determine whether they are acceptable in the coming week. (Mti-Eco)

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