Budapest, January 18 (MTI) – The sole aim of the government’s proposal to allow young people to take part in military training programmes would be to create an armed group loyal to the ruling Fidesz party, the Socialist Party said on Monday.
Defense Minister Istvan Simicsko told the daily Magyar Hirlap last week that he plans to establish a strictly non-ideological organisation within the ministry whose objective would be to mobilise youth more effectively. Plans include allowing young people over the age of 18 to take part in a month-long training programme on a voluntary basis, after which they could decide whether they want to stay on, Simicsko told the paper.
Socialist lawmaker Marta Demeter told a press conference volunteers could leave the programme and join militant, paramilitary or extremist groups after their month-long training, and this posed a risk to national security.
Demeter said Hungary already has a volunteer reservist recruitment programme which screens applicants and requires that they prove themselves over trial periods.
She called on the ministry to scrap the plan to start a training programme which should instead focus on tackling the army’s shortage of 5,500 soldiers.