Hungarians must solve the country's problems without waiting for guidance and decisions by international organisations, former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány said on Sunday at a meeting of the Democratic Coalition, a splinter party he had set up. The meeting was also attended by former finance ministers Laszlo Bekesi and Lajos Bokros who both urged a shift in economic policy and reforms.
Gyurcsány said international comments were worth listening to but the consequences must be drawn by the Hungarians.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's rule is not a dictatorship that should be overthrown by all means but "an authoritarian regime" against which only constitutional methods should be applied, Gyurcsány said. It is important that the opposition should reach consensus not only about the need to replace Orbán but also about what to do thereafter.
The government's economic policy which favours the well-off should be discarded but in order to maintain fiscal balance expenses should be cut and sometimes painful structural reforms introduced in health care, education and the pension system, Gyurcsány said.
The opposition should make it clear to voters that after a change in government life will not automatically become easier, he said.
"Quite the contrary, I believe that a very strict and disciplined fiscal policy should be pursued and from time to time, uncomfortable structural reforms launched," he said.
Assessing the current situation, Gyurcsány said that this was not the first time that Hungary faces deep economic and political crisis but it was unusual that these happen at the same time and are coupled with international isolation at a level "unmatched since the 1960s."
Asked whether the chances for cooperation between opposition parties are likely to improve after the resignation of Andras Schiffer, parliamentary group leader of the green party LMP, Gyurcsány said his Democratic Coalition would aim to reach consensus with LMP's future leaders.
Spokeswoman of the ruling Fidesz party Gabriella Selmeczi said that Gyurcsány on Sunday gathered some of the people who played crucial roles in destroying Hungary's economy and boosting its debts over the past twenty years. People do not want to hear advice from those who caused the crisis of families, she said.