Socialists: Government fails to give credible account of border protection costs
The government has failed to provide a credible account of the extraordinary costs of border protection linked to the migration crisis, deputy head of parliament’s defence and police committee Tamás Harangozó, of the opposition Socialists, said on Friday.
Harangozó said his party had turned to the relevant ministries and state bodies with a request for data in the public interest after Prime Minister Viktor Orbán asked the European Union last year to pay half of Hungary’s costs linked to migration which he said totalled 270 billion forints (EUR 870m).
The responses show that the government is spending taxpayer money with abandon under the cover of the migration crisis, the Socialist told a press conference.
Harangozó cited the example of 23 billion forints spent on building transit zones. Every bed cost seven times as much as the estimated cost of a bed in eight new prisons planned to be built across Hungary, he said.
Only 1.3 billion forints were spent on refugee services, some 100 million forints less than the allocation for communication costs. The police force said its costs totalled 60 billion forints but this probably also included spending not directly related to border protection, Harangozó said.
The Socialist politician said he had no objection to the government requesting extra EU money for extraordinary migration costs but only on condition that the cabinet follows the rules of the European community and can prove that the spending is justified.
Ruling Fidesz responded by saying that if the Socialists were in power, they would demolish the fence on Hungary’s border with Serbia and “implement the Soros plan”.
“The Socialists are continuing their attack on Hungary’s migration policy and border protection efforts because they are pro-migration,” Fidesz said in a statement. They have been attacking the fence, the transit zones, the tightened asylum regulations, the “National Consultation” surveys and have denied the existence of a “Soros plan” and mandatory migrant quotas from the beginning, Fidesz said. “Now they are deliberately misconstruing the costs of border protection,” the party said.
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