Friday, February 22, 2019

The Hungarian Right to Return

Hungary has accepted hundreds of refugees with Hungarian ancestry from crisis-hit Venezuela under a government programme launched nearly a year ago with the help of the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta, which has arranged the transfer of asylum-seekers from Venezuela to Hungary.  5,000 Hungarians emigrated to Venezuela, mostly after World War Two and after the 1956 Uprising.
"We are speaking about Hungarians and we do not consider Hungarians migrants," Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff, Gergely Gulyas told a news conference in response to questions about the report. "They, like any other Hungarian, have a right to return home," Gulyas said.

Hungary provided airline tickets, housing, cultural and Hungarian language courses to the refugees, as well as documents enabling them to find work.  Their Hungarian lineage is the basis of accepting the Venezuelans.

Hungarian opposition politicians accused the government of hypocrisy over the programme helping to settle Venezuelan refugees of Hungarian origin, saying it contradicted the right-wing government's strict anti-immigration laws. Last year, stringent laws were passed slapping taxes on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) deemed to be supporting or positively portraying migration. There are no exceptions in the regulation, the law does not treat non-Hungarian citizens with Hungarian ancestors differently, therefore those involved should pay a 25% special tax after their activities. 
"We call on the government to register itself as an organisation supporting migration and to pay the tax," said MEP Csaba Molnar from the liberal DK party at a press conference. "Just to be clear: We have no problem with refugees and with welcoming them, we support that. What we object to is the government treating Hungarians like idiots, not least its own supporters."
Syrian or Iraqi asylum seekers have no chance of receiving Hungary's protection even if they hail from the Christian minorities of these places. Hungary has refused to provide food for four to seven days for asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected, prompting the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to intervene. The ECHR issued emergency orders, forcing Hungary to provide food to the Iraqis under Rule 39, an interim measure which only applies "where there is an imminent risk of irreparable harm".

No comments: