The opposition Socialist Party is calling for a “national crisis plan” to address the emigration of Hungarians.
Emigration has now reached a level that clearly constitutes a national crisis situation requiring a national crisis plan, Zsolt Molnár, the deputy head of parliament’s national cohesion committee, told a press conference on Monday.
“We’re no longer talking about hundreds of thousands of people, but rather — according to a fresh study — 1-1.5 million, made up of mostly young people, who want to live and work in another country,” Molnár said.
Those emigrating from Hungary are generally young people fresh out of higher education on the cusp of starting families, he added.
This phenomenon is not just a demographic, social security and pension system-related problem, but it will also leave entire economic sectors without labour, he said, highlighting the health-care, catering and construction sectors as examples.
Molnár said the government saw emigration as a “pseudo problem”, which he called “outrageous”. He called on the government to take the issue seriously and urged a parliamentary debate on it. Hungary needs to develop a strategy that addresses the issue and commission studies that reveal more about it, he added.
Molnár expressed hope that the Fidesz-led government was not encouraging emigration and happy to see Hungarians who disagree with it leaving the country.
But he insisted that neither Prime Minister Viktor Orbán nor Deputy PM Zsolt Semjén felt responsible for the current situation.
He named the rethinking of the government’s home creation scheme, wage hikes, university student support, SME support and addressing employee rights as possible solutions to the situation.