Budapest, November 5 (MTI) – The government is family-friendly only in its rhetoric while its actual policies are out of date and archaic, opposition Egyutt party lawmaker Zsuzsanna Szelenyi said on Thursday.
The government is trying to boost family numbers by subsidizing them, but real population rises can only be achieved by cultivating a modern, future-oriented family policy and a well-designed immigration policy, Szelenyi told journalists in response to Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s opening of the Budapest Demography Forum earlier in the day.
Egyutt believes that families can only be strengthened through a change in perceptions. It is not enough to give money only, she added. Countries where male and female roles are more balanced are more successful and more children are born there, she said.
Szelenyi mentioned that it was important to take steps against violence in families, too.
The centralised education system is hostile to families and she noted that the governing parties had failed to support a proposal aimed at stopping child hunger.
On the subject of migration policy, Szelenyi said the prime minister was wrong, as it is known all over the world that immigration must be considered as a part of demographic change. Egyutt proposes that Hungary should deal with this idea in a structured and well-planned framework, she added. She said there were many countries which were built on immigration and that migrants could enrich and develop a country’s culture and civilisation. Stoking up fear about foreigners was just “threatening propaganda”, she added.
The opposition LMP party said Fidesz’s economic and family policies were unfit to turn demographic trends around and to keep Hungarian families in the country. The party’s co-leader Bernadett Szel said in response to Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s remarks earlier at the Budapest Demography Forum that policies in the past few years have failed to provide opportunities to balance work and family in Hungary. The government continues to ignore the problem of emigration, while 6-8 percent of women at childbearing age are already living abroad, she said. She said the main problem was that the actual number of children born was below the number desired by people.