[fse-esf] Petition presented to the president of the Hungarian NA
drsimoendre at freemail.hu
Wed Feb 15 14:48:30 CET 2006
A socialist cannot be a liberal - socialist president of the Hungarian
National Assembly has told on wednesday, by receiving a four members
delegation of the the Hungarian Social Forum Coordination Working
Group, presenting a three pages Petition on Human and Social Rights.
(See below!) I agree with the immediate demands of the HSF about the
disminishment of Poverty, particularly of extreme poverty in Hungary -
has added Ms Katalin Szili. Petition by the title "We want Job, Peace
secure existence!" has been defined by President Szili a "working
paper document" overpassing the political parties' limitations, focusing
on the basic problems of the Hungarian Society. Ms Szili has also told,
that at her opinion "a totally different social system had to be
established" at the service of the Society. She has urged the
continuation of the dialogue with us, by asking to share with her our
experiences of the forthcoming European Social Forum in Athens, and
the positions of the european social movement about the future and
the transformation of the neoliberal Europe into a Social Europe of
We want Work, Peace, Secure Existence!
Petition for human and social rights
In Hungary, more than 3 million people are living below the social
minimum, daily struggling for survival. More than 1 million of them are
getting continuously ever poorer into deep misery. The number of acts
of distraining is between 15 to 20.000. There are families who are
evicted from their flats, because, through no falt of their, they can not
pay the rent, and the bills, over and above with the pretext, they have
no home, their children are taken away from them. It is estimated that
the number of undernourished people is between 150-200.000
amongst them there are many children who dont get the 2.700
calories daily. There are huge number of people who live in total
insecurity of existence, in humiliating conditions of exclusion, valuable
human lifes are wasted. While one third of the society is getting ever
poorer, a handful of financial people are getting ever richer to an
unimaginable extent. The split of the society to poor and rich, questions
not only social justice, but the nature of human freedoms and
democracy. Our social problems are getting worse and worse
because, regardless of their political affiliation, non of the former
governments have sold them. We, the undersigners of this petition, we
are of the opinion that the causes of the existence problems are firstly
the lack of income, in other cases the extremely low incomes compared
to the cost of life, and the health condition of the population. The lack
of income is due to the unemployment, the lack of sufficient income to
the wages and social assistances cut down the social minimum level.
With the changing of the social system in Hungary in 1990, 1,5 million
employments have been suppressed and not replaced during the 15
years passed since. Employment policies are subordinated to the
interest of market economy in spite of the fact that material existence,
as main economical factor of life, is a human right category and not a
market one. Worthy living conditions can only be ensured by work
providing worthy wages. We have to create such conditions in which
people are capable to earn their own living. In our country the situation
is the contrary: employment has decreased continuously, privatisation
is being continued accompanied with the decrease of employment,
illegal work without contract is continuously increasing, employees are
materially, morally and physically more and more exploited. At the same
time, social cohesion is getting ever weaker. The growth of economy is
not accompanied by social progress, improvement of the society, with
the raising of the cultural level of society and general human
This situation can be changed only by the transformation of the present
distribution system, by the shifting of material resources in favour of
the world of work, otherwise the material base of equal chances can
not be established. The present economic and financial policies do not
serve the increase of employment and the decrease of poverty. The
main aim of the national budget is the introduction of the Euro in
Hungary and a policy in conformity to achieve it. The demand of the
European Union and the European Central Bank is to carry out
restrictive financial policies and stimulates financial solutions unconform
with the necessity to increase employment. With the accession of
Hungary to the European Union, more and more national jurisdictions
are beeing transferred on EU levels, escaping from the possibility of
democratic national control. Socially excluded stratas and working
classes can not have any influence in EU governance and control, they
can not enforce their interests and rights for secure existence. Two
years after the accession of Hungary to the EU, we can see, that
financial circles and different political interest groups refer to the
necessity of the introduction of Euro and the respect of the Stability
Pact in order to hinder the solving of existence problems in Hungary.
This problem becomes more serious because the European
Constitutional Treaty has been ratifyed by the Hungarian National
Assembly without the approval of the electorate, in violation of the
right of the citizens to the free expression of their opinion.
In order to stop the deterioration of the social situation, it is necessary
to change the existing conditions. Human and social rights must be
entirely fulfilled in Hungary and the European Union both. We demand
that people in need should be provided with work and safe material
existence, workers should be provided with honourable living
conditions, people should be granted of peaceful and safe living
Our immediate demands:
1. Immediate mesures must be taken to begin for eliminating
the extreme poverty and to stop the further impoverishment.
2. Homelessness must be done away, its main cause has to be
removed: the evictions must be stopped! We demand the Zero
Eviction: nobody could be dislodged, no matter what the reasons are,
unless accommodation should be provided for them during the period
of their social needs. The State must take care of all those people who
have already been put on the streets. The right to have a proper home
must be amended to the constitution, as part of the Human Right to
3. Undernourishment must be done away with! Food must be
provided to all those, who are not able to get proper nourishing. It
must be organised that all those in need could get at least one hot
meal per day.
4. Without deferring any longer, social and material assistance
should be provided to all those people, uncapable to ensure their own
and their childrens simple existence!
5. In Hungary must be forbidden the introduction of 65 hour
long working week, permitted by the European Commission! At the
same time it must be made possible that people above the pension
age could work if they want and they are capable to work.
6. The raising of the retirement age must be taken off from the
7. In order to improve purchasing power, the social minimum
and minimum wages must be raised sensibly.
8. Immediate actions are needed to avoid the crisis of ever
increasing social tensions caused by the problems of material survival,
social injustice, inequality and discrimination, in order to avoid the
putting in danger of the democratic rights of freedom!
9. It must be finished the accumulation of capital financed from
10. Progressive taxation, just distribution of public burdens must
be introduced by a system in which people with high incomes would
pay 45-50%, and taxation of commodities which are consumed by low
income-groups should be decreased!
11. Trade unions and other interest organisations of the
employees must gain back their rights, their rights at workplaces must
be guaranteed entirely and those employers who violate employment
laws, must be punished severly!
12. The privatisation of public services, like health, education,
culture and media, must be stopped!
13. In order to decrease inequality, the poorest sections of
society must be provided with material and background assistance in
the field of education!
14. Its necessary to achieve an EU budget which helps the
catching up of the newly joined countries and which would strengthen
social cohesion in Hungary!
15. We demand Public Cleanness and Morality!
16. We demand public security!
17. We want to have correct information about the real problems
of our society: the problems of existence, health situation, housing,
Peace, the evolution of the implementing of human and social rights.
The media, first of all the public media, should transmit the interests,
demands, and the opinions of the employees and of the excluded!
Our demands for middle-range:
1. A European social minimum must be introduced!
2. Contributions to be payed after the employed work force
must be moderated!
3. In order to increase employment, cooperative forms of
production have to be stimulated, cooperatives and national industry
must be provided with high priority state subsidy!
4. In order to improve the health of the population, the
healthcare system must be developed! Health institution and services
must be owned exclusively by the state, the local governments, and
the health employees. Health services must be equally accessible to
everyone, all sick people should get health services of the same
standards. Health services must be controlled by the health profession,
legal experts in the field of health, and interest protecting
organisations, the system must be compulsorily financed from
mandatory contributions and taxes. In each country it must be based
on unified risk taking, the principle of solidarity, and it must be
guaranteed by the state!
5. Social organisations must be provided with the necessary
financial support in order to enable them to carry out their tasks! The
rights of social an civil organisations must be extended to the
codification and legislation of laws and the defining of guidelines of
social policies. We urge the reform of the electoral and institutional
system in order to realise social rights: civil forums, civilian veto.
6. It must be enacted that gained social rights can not be
withdrawn without the consent of the workers!
7. Human and social rights for the Romas must be insured:
equality in the field of politics, economics and culture! Roma
settlements with inhuman conditions must be done away with!
8. Necessary conditions have to be created in order to assure
the physical and intellectual human development. (Sport, culture)
Our political and institutional aims:
1. It is necessary to brake with the ultra liberal economical and
social policies. Human and Social Rights have to be implemented in
Hungary as well in Europe, to which Hungary belongs. Its necessary to
modify the system of distribution in order to entirely guarantee the
right to life, to existence, to the equality of chances. A qualitatively
different development is necessary, with the priority of the existence,
employment, and the defense, re-establishment, enrichment of the
2. The Sovreignity of the People has to be extended to the
european levels: the European Parliament must be invested of
legislativ powers, Commission, European Council and Central Bank
have to be put under democratic control. Traditional representative
democracy has to be completed with participatory democracy
institutions: european civilian control, civilian forums.
3. In the frame of the European Citizenship, equality of rights
must be guaranteed to all inhabitants of the Union. The Social Europe
of Peoples must be based on the equality of rights of the Peoples.
Members of National Minorities must enjoy individual and collective
rights to the free use of their mother languages, free education on
mother tongue, to national culture, autonomy, free movement and
contacts with the mother-country and Europe.
Approved by the Co-ordinating Working Committee of the Hungarian
Social Forum in December 2005.
We ask to the organisations and the individuals wishing to join this
petition to send their name, profession or the name of the organisation
they belong, the e-mail address or the phone number to the following
mszfkmb at freemail.hu
Text translated from the original Hungarian text, by Lajos Benczekovits
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