Hungary’s HR Minister Visits Canada For Talks On Diaspora, Family And Church Policies
Tamás Székely 2017.06.09.
Hungarian Human Resources Minister Zoltán Balog held talks in Ottawa with Canadian officials on various issues, including the situation of the Hungarian Diaspora in North America, and humanitarian aid for persecuted Middle East Christians, news agency MTI reported.
Speaking on the phone, the Hungarian minister said that his talks with Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada’s minister for families, youth and development and other officials focused on aid for Christians living in the Middle East. The Hungarian government works to have the mass murders of Christians in the region declared genocide. The Hungarian government has already set up a government office coordinating aid for Christians living under threat, he said.
Zoltán Balog said he highlighted the aid the Hungarian government had already provided in the region, such as financial aid to the Syrian Catholic and the Syrian Orthodox Churches, hospitals and other humanitarian projects. Balog and Duclos also discussed the Canadian family subsidy system, which Balog said showed “surprising similarities” to the Hungarian government’s measures, “considering the differences in the ideological backgrounds of the two governments”. They also addressed their countries’ experiences in integrating ethnic minorities.
During his visit to Canada, Balog also said the Hungarian government would launch a child support scheme next year to help all Hungarians around the world. Starting in January 2018, every Hungarian mother, no matter where they give birth, will be offered a “baby bond” which involves a one-off support and the possibility to take out a low-interest loan subsidised by the state until the child turns 18, Balog told a celebration marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in Niagara Falls.”We are talking about Hungarian children and they are equally important as children born in Hungary,” he said. In his speech, Balog cited Hungary’s constitution, which proclaims the state’s responsibility for all Hungarians around the world.
The event, organised by the Hungarian community in Toronto, was attended by more than 300 ethnic Hungarians led by 24 pastors from all around the world, including Australia, the US and Transylvania. The participants included Calvinists, Catholics, Lutherans and also Baptists, Balog noted. The minister called it symbolic that the organisers rented out a Catholic Carmelite monastery and guest house for celebrating the Reformation.