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Commenting on the subject of school segregation in Gyöngyöspata, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said 80 percent of non-Roma students in rural schools had to contend with intolerable conditions such as high absenteeism and rule-breaking by the other students.

Non-Roma Hungarians reacted by withdrawing their children from such schools, Orbán said in his regular Friday morning interview to public broadcaster Kossuth Radio, adding that there was “a feeling among the non-Roma in Gyöngyöspata” that they had to “go into retreat even though they were in the majority”.

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“Due to a court decision following a lawsuit launched by Soros organisations, millions must be paid to those who have made it impossible for their children to learn properly,” the prime minister added.

We take the side of the 80 percent who are decent, working Hungarians who demand a suitable education for their child,”

Orbán said, adding that he had asked the local Fidesz MP to “turn this situation round as a matter of urgency”. He added that “among Gypsy families there are those, of course, who want their children to go to normal school”, but these people were also hindered by the disorder.

“I won’t pay … parents who allowed their children to go absent from school for 500 hours; and when [their children] did turn up, they behaved in a way that made teaching impossible,” he said, adding that the government took the side of “decent people”.

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On the topic of prisoners suing the state over poor jail conditions, Orbán said they were running a “business”, having launched 12,000 lawsuits so far. From the money the European court obliges the Hungarian state to pay out in such cases, 60 percent goes to the lawyers, he said, adding that this was an abuse of the law against which firm action would be taken by the government.

He said that when it came to ongoing cases, the state was reluctant to pay a single penny as “criminals and lawyers” would be sharing the proceeds of taxpayers’ money.

Featured photo illustration by Tamás Kovács/MTI