Opposition calls on minister to reveal security details of billboard campaign
Budapest, June 9 (MTI) – The opposition Egyutt party has called on the interior minister to reveal the details of security measures if any had been taken in connection with the government’s billboard campaign on migration.
The billboards have triggered widespread criticism and activists defaced many of them in an “expression of political opinion,” Levente Papa, the party’s deputy leader, told a press conference on Tuesday. Papa said it was “outrageous” that “old political policing methods” were used when three police teams were ordered to guard the billboards overnight at the weekend. He said the 24-hour guarding of the billboards was unnecessary and kept police from doing their job.
Zoltan Balog, the Minister for Human Resources, denied in parliament on Monday that police security has been ordered for the billboards.
Police arrested six people on Sunday in connection with defacing billboards put up under the government’s “national consultation” campaign on immigration. Egyutt said it was organising a movement to tear down the billboards and some of the party’s activists were involved, including leader Viktor Szigetvari. Several activists reported themselves to police voluntarily after defacing billboards in the city and Egyutt said it would “stand by its activists.”
The opposition Socialists called it “revolting” that Hungarian police were watching the government’s “xenophobic billboards” instead of protecting tax-paying citizens.
The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) has said in a statement it would turn to the chief prosecutor over the billboards, whose legality should be questioned.
The radical nationalist Jobbik party said the billboard issue was “overblown” on both sides, with the government ordering police to guard the postings and the left encouraging their defacement.
The ruling Fidesz party said Szigetvari should stop encouraging “vandalism” and “inducing people to aggressive and unlawful actions”.