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Opposition Angered As Scandalous Poster Of Government’s Alleged Anti-Immigration Campaign Leaks

By Tamás Székely // 2015.06.03.

News portal published a photo of a poster on Tuesday, which is allegedly a part of a planned anti-immigration campaign of the Hungarian government. The Hungarian sentence on the poster is read “If you come to Hungary, you cannot take jobs away from Hungarians!”. In respond to the outrage spread quickly in the Hungarian online media Zoltán Kovács, the government spokesman, said that “This is a statement and message for those that wish to enter Hungary and the European Union illegally”. Immigrants arriving in Hungary are expected to observe local rules and respect local culture, and they “cannot jeopardise” the jobs of local people, he added. The opposition EGYÜTT (Together) party has protested against the poster and encouraged people to remove them once they are put out.

The government makes it clear that instead of handling the problem of immigration, it pursues a campaign to promote xenophobia from public monies, the opposition Socialists (MSZP) said. Deputy group leader Tamás Harangozó said that while the government is spending 1 billion forints (EUR 3.2m) on a national consultation, only a fraction of that sum is actually spent on handling the issue. He said the immigration office will receive 50 million forints extra funding next year and it can employ about 30 new staff members. Six immigration officers will be in charge of deportation.

Tamás Harangozó has also accused PM Viktor Orbán of telling lies when he recently said that no more immigrant centres would be opened. The text of the budget bill shows the opposite, he said. If immigration is indeed the greatest problem for Hungary, as suggested by the government, then Hungary is very lucky that this much money would be sufficient to resolve it, Harangozó said. Socialist board member Balázs Bárány said the government is trying to divert attention from Hungarians leaving the country to work abroad, which is Hungary’s greatest real problem.

The opposition Dialogue for Hungary (PM) party said the recent hearing of Sándor Pintér, minister of internal affairs, has revealed that the authorities can handle the wave of immigrants, it is only the government that is provoking hysteria by stirring up anti-immigration sentiments. PM lawmaker Timea Szabó, who sits in parliament as an independent, said that the ruling Fidesz politician’s claim of a forty-fold increase in the number of immigrants was miscalculation. She said Pintér was not telling the truth, either, when he said immigrants cost more money to taxpayers. The EU has provided funding for the police and the immigration office to fulfill extra tasks related to immigrants, she added.

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