Prime minister Viktor Orbán announced last week that the government would establish border guards to provide more effective border protection. That is because the government believes new and massive waves of illegal migrants will arrive at the Southern borders. Furthermore, the prime minister said on Friday that the front would move closer to the Hungarian-Ukrainian borderline. However, it seems that the members of this new branch will get ridiculous wages.
Hungary had an independent border guard between 1946 and 2007, but the Ferenc Gyurcsány-lead Socialist-liberal cabinet dissolved it. Police received the task of border protection, and border guards became police officers. When the migration crisis started in 2015, several political parties, for example, Jobbik, demanded its reestablishment, but PM Orbán refused.
He changed his mind by last Monday. Orbán announced that interior minister Sándor Pintér got three months to create a separate border guard unit. The border guards will be enhanced by so-called “hunting squadrons”, Orbán added. The new body will have 2-4,000 strong members, the prime minister cleared.
Based on index.hu, two police departments search for armed security guards in Bács-Kiskun and Csongrád-Csanád counties. Interestingly, the job description does not contain any reference to hunting squadrons, it tells only about armed security guards at the southern borders of Hungary. Therefore, the recruits
can calculate with a HUF 260 000 (EUR 642) per month gross wage.
That amount will be supplemented by a 400 HUF (EUR 1) extra hourly wage and payment for night work. They will receive an additional HUF 200 000 (EUR 494) per year as a cafeteria allowance.
Index.hu says that the Hungarian police have been struggling with human resources problems. However, such low wages will not be too attractive, the media outlet suggests. Azonnali.hu reported that after the end of the pandemic state of emergency, 299 police officers left.
Hrportal.hu wrote that the number of recruits at the Hungarian police is continuously falling. In 2017, the number of applications to law enforcement schools stood at 3,528. The number of those who could start their studies was 1,751 that year. These numbers were 989 and 471 in 2019. That means a 74 percent decrease in only one year. In 2020, the police introduced a fast-track program, but they managed to find only 1,874 applicants in 2021, which is still 50 percent fewer than in 2017.
Zoltán Orgovány, chairman of the police trade union in South Transdanubia (Dunántúl), said that
the starting net salary is around 617 EUR per month if the officer has overtime work and serves night shifts. However, even that wage is no longer competitive in Hungary.
Featured image: illustration
Source: index.hu, azonnali.hu, hrportal.hu, police.hu