Jobbik started building bridges in Central and Eastern Europe to support the European wage union. The biggest Hungarian opposition party has been seeking allies in Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Poland, Estonia and Latvia. Jobbik MP Márton Gyöngyösi, vice-president of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee thinks that the initiative of the European wage union is an issue along which Central and Eastern Europe can define itself, the countries of the region can overcome ethnic conflicts and be companions in fate to solve our common problems.
The president of Jobbik, Gábor Vona announced on 18th November 2016 that as there are 18 months to go until the next elections, he will make commitments on the 18th day of each month, which will form the core of their governance as a people’s party and the bridge-building. His second personal commitment was the fight for leveling wages in Europe. To reach this goal he wants to launch a European Citizens’ Initiative to make the wage union be part of the alliance’s basic principles. ”Equal wage for equal work” is the main idea of Jobbik’s proposition. To launch the European Citizens’ Initiative and make the European Commission put the question on the agenda, one million signatures have to be collected in seven member states within one year. For this purpose Jobbik’s international delegation started a Central and Eastern European tour to collect allies. In Bulgaria the Bulgarian Patriotic Front, in Croatia the patriotic party of the Croatian youth, GO!, in Estonia the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia and in Latvia the Latvian National Alliance welcomed the delegation. In Slovakia and Romania private individuals connected to Jobbik help the Hungarian opposition party’s initiative, while in Slovenia – although still subject to confirmation – an independent MP who is founding a new party. In the beginning of March Jobbik’s delegation is to meet members of the Polish trade union Solidarity.
”Our initiative is well received from the first moment”, Márton Gyöngyösi told Alfahír. He stressed that the problem of leveling wages in Europe is especially important in the Baltics because compared to their population, they have the biggest outward migration of young people.
„What we say about wages falling behind in Hungary is exponentially true in the Baltic countries”, he stated. According to Márton Gyöngyösi it’s a general conclusion that since these countries have been trying to catch up with neoliberal economic policies and decrease differences in the standard of living – especially since their EU membership – instead of approaching the Western standard of living, they moved away from it.
„A young Estonian has two choices: to stay home and work for starvation wages in the assembly plant of a multinational company or to move abroad”, the Jobbik politician drafted the reality of the Baltics.
Márton Gyöngyösi warned that if the youth, who are eager to do something, have ambition and have just finished university, leave the societies with failing demographics, it can have a devastating effect on the tax system, health care, pension system and can start a collapse which can have unforeseeable consequences.
„We either stop this process or Central and Eastern Europe must face an economic-social trauma”, the politician said. He also added that even if there’s a suitable correction, it can take decades to reach positive results. Márton Gyöngyösi highlighted that the wage union is Western Europe’s interest too, where the free movement of workers causes more and more tension and antipathy towards Eastern European immigrants. He added that the Eurozone can’t be strong as long as the economic policy of the EU is draining resources from the peripheries to the center.
„This will eventually mean the end of the Eurozone and the Union. A policy which continues in this direction towards instability is short-sighted”, he added.
Jobbik: Fidesz is maintaining the Eastern wage level
The opposition party thinks that Fidesz is silent in Brussels, silently watches Hungary emptying, hundreds of thousands leaving the country because of the low wages and the hopeless situation. Jobbik finds it regrettable that there’s no struggle from the government’s side to catch up and the alignment of Hungarian wage level is not specified in the strategic agreements the government makes with multinational companies. „The Fidesz government is driving Hungarian people away and wants to replace them with cheap import labour”, Jobbik said previously.
Regarding the wage union the Jobbik politician stressed the importance of a long-term goal, a specific issue which can be a starting point for Central and Eastern Europe on the way of self-identification.
„Central and Eastern Europe has a special fate, situation between East and West. Finally, we have to turn to each other and find common solutions to our common problems, break up with the self-destructive policy of letting ourselves be divided and influenced by the big powers from the East and West”, he stated.
Márton Gyöngyösi said that in the near future they plan to organise a conference in Budapest, where in the framework of a formal act, at an international press conference they would announce the petition for the European wage union.
Independence would mean the future for Ukraine
Jobbik’s stance regarding Russia was also on the agenda in Estonia and Latvia. According to Márton Gyöngyösi the Baltics are very sensitive about this topic, understandably. But the opposition party’s delegation managed to explain its partners that Jobbik has a pragmatic stance and believes in the possibility of succeeding between the centres of power. Regarding Ukraine Jobbik said that the Hungarian standpoint is determined by the fate of the 150.000 ethnic Hungarians living in Transcarpathia. The Hungarian minority in Ukraine struggles with the same difficulties as the Russian. It’s exposed to Kiev’s centralising ambitions and chauvinistic ideas. These are not bringing Ukraine closer to European norms, but on the contrary, they are driving them away. According to Márton Gyöngyösi Ukraine’s real tragedy is that it can’t find its room of manoeuvre in the grip of East and West; it hasn’t had a single moment since its independence when Ukrainian politics and way of thinking wasn’t influenced solely from Moscow or Washington. The Jobbik politician is convinced that Ukraine would find its future by leading independent policies, integrating into a Central Eastern Europe which has its sovereign identity. This alternative doesn’t exist yet, but according to Márton Gyöngyösi the wage union initiative can be its first modest step. „It’s important to overcome ethnic problems, to be able to think beyond them. Otherwise the geopolitical game of the big powers would sweep away this region”, the politician stressed.