Election 2018: Socialists, Párbeszéd outline programme to curb emigration
If elected to government, the Socialist-Párbeszéd coalition will launch a government scheme to keep young Hungarians in the country and to motivate those who have already emigrated to return, the parties’ PM candidate said on Friday.
Speaking at a press conference in front of the National Election Office, Gergely Karácsony said on Friday that a new state secretary’s office would be set up which would be dedicated to the scheme.
The Socialist-Párbeszéd party coalition’s strategy will include “ensuring equal voting rights” to Hungarians abroad. Additionally, they will finance first degrees and launch a housing programme to motivate young citizens to stay in the country, Párbeszéd’s co-leader said.
The election office has used “enormous resources” to register ethnic Hungarians holding dual citizenships in neighbouring countries to vote in the Hungarian elections, Karacsony said. At the same time, it has “made no efforts” to enable Hungarian citizens working abroad to vote, he insisted.
Karácsony said he had asked Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi to develop the strategy.
Ujhelyi insisted that the Fidesz-Christian Democrat government’s “only” scheme to lure young Hungarian emigrants home “has failed”.
Citing data from the Central Statistical Office, Ujhelyi said Hungarians working abroad transfer some 900 billion forints (EUR 2.9m) to Hungary annually. “Their money is needed. but they are not given a say in the affairs of their home country,” he said. Ethnic Hungarians living in neighbouring countries have been much better informed and more intensively targeted to vote, he insisted. These voters are much more likely to vote for the incumbent government, Ujhelyi said.
Asked why he has voted in favour of the EU’s resettlement quota scheme for asylum seekers, Ujhelyi said he does not support a mandatory, definitive, normative quota.
Karácsony also said he does not support the mandatory quota scheme.
Commenting on the press conference, Fidesz said in a statement that the Socialists and Parbeszed, “although they try to deny it”, support the quota scheme and the “Soros plan”. The parties’ MEPs “have voted for every pro-migration proposal in the European Parliament”, the statement said.