Hot summer for our Hungarian members
This summer was busy for Új Kezdet (New Start). The quasi-authoritarian Orban government kept on destroying the remaining institutions of free press and culture in Hungary.
The independent online news portal, Index, was the first victim, which was occupied by the regime through owner manipulations. The second target to have been taken over was the University of Theatre and Film Arts, but due to the prompt and brave resistance of its students and faculty staff, Orban could not manage the takeover. Új Kezdet (New Start)’s activists, among them Sandor Sopkez, Új Kezdet National Council member based in Budapest participated in the street demonstration defending the freedom of the University of Theatre and Film Arts.
Several takeovers from the government and government backed entities are in progress regarding all fields of everyday life including popular public beaches at the lakes Balaton, Ferto and Tata.
The new feature is that there is a strong and effective local civil resistance against such attempts from the Orban regime. Democratic opposition political parties, among them Új Kezdet (New Start), offer and give immediate help to local protesting citizens. Meanwhile, these parties started negotiations to establish an effective coalition for the 2022 general elections.
In August in Vasarosnameny, Istvan Serto-Radics, EDP Deputy Secretary General and Vice-President of Új Kezdet (New Start) engaged in a civil protest movement aiming at reopening the local community hospital recently closed by the government. He organised the media coverage and mobilised his Hungarian party and other democratic opposition political party members. Új Kezdet (New Start) President Krisztina Hohn, member of Hungarian Parliament, then questioned the Hungarian Minister of Human Resources, who oversees health issues, on this issue. The local movement was eventually successful and the hospital reopened on the 1st of September.
At the initiative of Új Kezdet (New Start) Vice-President Szilard Gyenes, the party also prepared a detailed social treaty in order to create an effective opposition coalition for the 2022 Hungarian general elections.
In September, Krisztina Hohn,who is also vice-chair of Hungarian Parliament’s Budgetary Committee opened her surgery in Gödöllő, to give local citizens an opportunity to meet her and discuss matters of concern.