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Hungarian Press Roundup: Migration Card in Local Election Campaign

Hungary Today 2019.10.09.

As the Prime Minister includes the migration issue in his pre-electoral address, a pro-government pundit castigates the planned European refugee redistribution scheme, while a conservative critic of the government accuses Fidesz of low-level anti-migration campaigning.

Hungarian press roundup by

Background information: in a letter to the voters a few days before next Sunday’s local elections, PM Orbán warns the public that the issue at stake is whether Hungarian towns and villages will be governed in future by pro-immigration or anti-immigration leaders.

In Magyar Hírlap, Mariann Őry warns the Visegrád 4 not to yield to the scheme proposed by Germany and France to redistribute asylum seekers according to agreed quotas. The issue was submitted to the EU Interior Ministers for consultation on Monday. She finds it telling that the planned agreement would only be in force for six months and countries joining could opt-out at any time if they feel that the scheme has a stimulating effect on immigration. Őry suggests that such an impact would be inevitable. By contrast, former Italian Interior Minister Salvini’s decree to close the ports to ships carrying illegal migrants had a deterrent effect, she claims. But this has been withdrawn by the new government in Rome.

On Válasz Online, Barna Borbás, on the other hand, finds it nauseating that in the northern city of Salgótarján, the Fidesz mayoral candidate accuses the left-wing council of providing public water supply in public spaces, which might one day be used by asylum seekers. Such a thought would even be ridiculous in southern Hungary, he writes. He takes this as just one out of five examples of the deterioration of political campaigning in Hungary. Further examples include the leaking of sex videos showing mayors with ‘loose’ young women and running fake candidates to mislead opposition-leaning voters.