Hungarian PM incites hate against Roma and migrants

In a Facebook video, Viktor Orbán compared the refugee crisis to the internal migration of the Roma community -- implying that both groups were a threat to Hungarian society.

Ivett Körösi
Ivett Körösi Nepszava, Hungary
Source: Nepszava
Hungarian PM incites hate against Roma and migrants - NewsMavens
Viktor Orbán. Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

The PM was alluding to the fate of Roma in the town of Miskolc, who were evicted because of tensions with locals. His exact words were:

"The people of Miskolc know what migration is. There were times when masses came here from outside the city. You saw the consequences... and these were people who migrated from within the country."

 

While Hungary has almost no refugee population to speak of, it is home to hundreds of thousands of Roma, who live under the threat of racial attacks like those of 2008. By directly encouraging Hungarians to consider them a menace, Orbán has further endangered his country's most vulnerable social group.

race, politics, media

Details from the story:

  • "The people of Miskolc know what migration is. There were times when masses came here from outside the city. You saw the consequences... and these were people who migrated from within the country,” said Viktor Orbán, in a video recently uploaded to his Facebook page.
  • Although he did not specify who he was referring to, it is obvious that he meant the Roma that used to live in Miskolc. As a result of serious tensions in the city, many Roma families were evicted by local authorities.
  • Several opposition parties and well-known Roma condemned the words of the PM. Many called the statement an incitement against the Roma community.
  • Attila Hidvégi-B., editor-in-chief of RomNet, suggested that after the recent loss Fidesz suffered at the mayoral by-election of Hodmezovasarhely, Orbán realised that “his crusade against migrants and George Soros was not hateful enough.” 
  • Oszkar Lakatos, a member of the National Roma Self-Government, claimed that the ruling party is using Roma citizens. They expect them to vote for Fidesz in general election in return for “a kilogram of bread or a package of expired food”, and then turn on them and use them as scapegoats whenever convenient.
  • At the peak of the anti-immigration hysteria, there were several cases when citizens called the police, having seen a “foreign-looking person” walking on the street.
  • The general elections are scheduled for April 8, 2018.
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