It’s the second Sunday of Advent, and hopefully more and more families will be gathering to celebrate the holidays together cosily. Unfortunately, I also know of families in my own environment who cannot be together even at this time of year: some families have been torn apart by government hate politics, others have their young living abroad and are less able to travel home for financial reasons or because of epidemic restrictions. Emigration remains one of Hungary’s greatest tragedies of our time, a new-generation Trianon, which the Fidesz government has treated with its usual arrogance, obnoxiousness and one-upmanship over the past ten years. It is worth remembering when, a few years ago, hundreds of millions were spent on the “Come home, youth!” state campaign but it was cancelled after a while because only a hundred young people managed to come home with that amount of money, including one who was offered a temporary job in the state company that organized the programme itself. And the gravity of the matter is apparently also felt in Fidesz, as even the decreasingly sane László Kövér recently said at forum held in the countryside that 25 million workers have left Central-East Europe for the West in the last 30 years, costing the countries concerned at least a thousand billion euros, and that ‘the retention capacity of the motherland must be increased’. My message to Mr Kövér is that he could start by not promptly declaring those who do not blindly follow Fideszt to be traitors. After all, many people are leaving the country now because they find it simply unliveable: and not just because of the livelihood crises but because of that moldy, stale-air, hate-fuelled social climate that the NER elite has deliberately imposed on our country. “The ‘retention power’ of the motherland would be greatly enhanced if lunatics like Kövér were to retire.
I have been drawing attention to the dangers and serious impacts of emigration for a very long time now: I have repeatedly called on the government to take substantive action on the issue, but despite the fact that I have put the ‘Welcome Home Programme’ on the table, the government has of course continued to reject it with an arrogant, shoulder shrugging refusal.
Yet the problem is still serious, despite the efforts of the NER-celebrities and pocket analysts to pass off the changing trends and occasional positive elements as a long-lasting result. As MSZP co-president Bertalan Tóth pointed out: according to this year’s Závecz Research survey, one in five (!) young Hungarians are planning to move abroad. This is a real tragedy, especially if we add that in recent years around 100,000 Hungarian children have been born abroad, and there have been years when more Hungarian children were born in the UK, for example, than in the whole of Vas County in the same year.
In 2012, Viktor Orbán said that if they were given another four years in the next elections, “in six years’ time, we will have a country where everyone will want to come home.” In reality, all Viktor Orbán and his mafia team have managed to achieve with the mandate they have been given is that even his own daughter and son-in-law have moved to Spain. It is true though that according to the latest Government Info, they allegedly left the country only because “in the six months before the elections, part of the family must have thought it would be easier if they were not in Hungary.” I would just like to add quietly that it will not be easier for them after the elections either, because for every single stolen and embezzled public money-forint, we will be holding everyone accountable, including Orbán’s relatives. No exceptions, no escape.
As for Fidesz’s attitude and the endless hypocrisy behind the national veneer: while they are forging relations with the Kipchaks, bowing and scraping at the eastern ends and frothing on western democracies, they are educating their children in enlightened and prosperous western democracies, as a rule. Interestingly, we do not hear of any Fidesz leader sending his children to, say, Kazakhstan, or Turkmenistan, that gives us our Kipchak tribal leaders, or, say, Moscow, to lay the foundations for their future. The real attitude and callous pettiness of the NER, by the way, is best illustrated by the recent slip of the tongue of Tamás Lánczi, government political scientist and online director of the state-owned public media MTVA, who once was an honourable man. He argued in favour of the “definite advantages” of leaving the European Union, saying that Hungarian young people would then at least not be able to take jobs in Western Europe. Oh dear. Many times you really don’t know whether this is a sign of total madness in Fidesz and its servile court, or whether they really have no idea what is happening in the world.
After the Hungarian Prime Minister’s landmark speech in Tusványos in 2014, proclaiming the illiberal state, I vowed that as an MEP I would write an open letter every week to warn the public of the regime’s crimes. For the three hundred and twenty-seventh time, I am ringing the bells of alarm, because it seems necessary. And because, as a radical European democrat, it is my duty to do so.
Member of the European Parliament