Fidesz in damage control mode after deputy prime minister Semjén makes racist gaffe

August 22, 2017

According to Fidesz, housewives and students are “ethnic groups that pay no taxes.”

According to Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén there is an ethnic group in Hungary that has never paid a single cent of tax, reports

In an interview with Hír TV, the reporter asked the head of Hungary’s Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) why voting rights should be granted to ethnic Hungarians not residing in Hungary. Invoking former Socialist prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s 2004 statement that those who do not pay taxes in Hungary should not be allowed to vote, Semjén went on to say that:

“Putting it into PC words, I could name an ethnic group in Hungary, more precisely groups of people, who have not paid a single cent of tax in their lives, yet it would still be absurd to say that they should not be granted the right to vote”.

According to Semjén, there is no connection between paying taxes and the right to vote because it is every Hungarian’s birthright to be a Hungarian citizen. In his opinion, citizenship and the right to vote are inseparable.

The head of Fidesz’s parliamentary delegation and Fidesz vice-president Lajos Kósa felt compelled to explain Semjén’s words Monday afternoon, telling the press that Semjén was referring “to students and housewives” and not Roma (gypsies) as widely assumed (as though these were ethnic groups!-ed.).  However, Kósa was hard-pressed to explain why Semjén felt compelled to mention political correctness if he was not referring to Roma.

According to a recent poll by pollster Publicus, while a majority of Hungarians support granting citizenship to ethnic Hungarians in neighboring countries, public opinion is split on whether they should be allowed to vote in Hungarian elections.  Some one million Hungarian passports have been issued to people of Hungarian ancestry living abroad since 2010, the vast majority to ethnic Hungarians living in parts of Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine and Austria belonging to the Kingdom of Hungary before the First World War.