Opposition DK: Residency bond system put Hungary, EU security at risk
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his government put the security of Hungarians and other EU citizens at risk by selling residency bonds to foreigners without appropriate vetting, the deputy leader of leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DL) said on Wednesday.
The government has granted citizenships and passports without thorough examination to 20,000 people from China, Russia, some Arab countries and other nations, Ágnes Vadai told a press conference. Criminals and terrorists have also gained citizenship this way, and Hungary’s counter-terrorism force TEK has since arrested some of them, she said.
The EU cannot watch idly as the “loudly anti-migrant” Hungarian government secretly lets tens of thousands of people into the EU, Vadai said.
It is “shameful” that the Hungarian government risks the security of EU citizens while styling itself as Europe’s saviour, she said.
DK has turned to the EU, asking it to take action against the government’s “treason” of Hungary and the bloc, she said.
The Hungarian government should have conducted comprehensive checks as to the national security risks of admitting these individuals, Vadai said in response to a question.
It should also retroactively investigate the source of funds for which the residency bonds had been bought, she said.
Under the scheme running from the summer of 2013 until March 2017, foreign nationals who bought securities from a licensed agent backed by the residency bonds could apply in an accelerated procedure for permanent residency in Hungary. The threshold for the residency bond purchase was set at 250,000 euros early in the scheme and raised to 300,000 euros later on.
Featured image: MTI/EPA