“This is a war in which they do not use weapons.” – László Kövér, president of the Hungarian parliament
“In Jászberény the President of the National Assembly and two Fidesz colleagues went far beyond the government’s argumentation to date, and presented ten new arguments for why it was important to vote ‘no’ on October 2nd.” – Index
Migrants are the means by which Hungary’s enemies wish to deprive Hungarians of their identity prior to enslaving them, warned László Kövér at a public forum held Tuesday evening in the central Hungarian city of Jászberény, one of 200 forums to be held across the country in the run-up to the October 2nd referendum on whether Hungary should participate in an EU burden-sharing scheme to temporarily settle some 1,300 asylum seekers in Hungary.
Speaking to a packed audience of mostly pensioners, Kövér, Fidesz MP János Pócs, and Jászberény mayor Tamás Szabó peppered their audience with reasons why Hungarians should vote “no” to the following question:
Do you want for the European Union to be able to mandate the obligatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary without the approval of the National Assembly?
Index.hu writes that over the course of the two and one half hour forum “arguments were made against migrants which so far could only be heard in pubs on the edge of town.” The online daily writes that it was the first time a mayor declared at a forum that if the migrants come there will not be any assistance for Hungary’s Roma minority.
“Nor has it ever happened that a member of parliament told jokes about the migrants. Nor had we previously seen an example of public dignitaries ridiculing a soccer player for being a migrant,” writes index.hu
Reasons to vote “no”
In a separate press conference held before the forum, Pócs and Szabó claimed former Jászberény Socialist mayor József Gedi (Democratic Coalition) had submitted a proposal or resolution to the city assembly to the effect that the demographic situation was so bad in Jászberény that it needed migrants and that it was necessary to fulfill our EU obligations. They offered this as proof that Hungary’s left wing supported immigration, even though the Hungarian Socialist Party has said it will assist the government in efforts to prevent asylum seekers being temporarily settled in the country.
At the forum itself, Pócs warned that migrants are using Facebook to target Hungarian women, inviting them “out to dance”, which he said was a prescription for trouble. Index.hu notes, however, Pócs was unable to offer any specific instances of women accepting such offers.
Addressing “our Roma fellow citizens” mayor Szabó warned that “every aid is finite” and that if the government is required to assist them, this will come at the expense of social aid to Hungarian citizens. “The mayor essentially asked the Roma to persuade one another that migrants coming to Hungary means less aid for them,” reports Index.hu
(The problem with this argument is that Hungary’s Roma minority has already been largely stripped of social benefits apart from public work-ed.)
Kövér accused Europe of wanting to destroy Hungary’s national culture and change Europe’s cultural, religious, and ethnic composition. He warned that the migrants were being used as a means by which Hungary’s enemies wished to deprive Hungarians of their identity prior to enslaving them. “This is a war in which they do not use weapons,” said Kövér. The president of the Hungarian parliament further warned that migrants have higher birthrates, and that if allowed to settle in Hungary they could eventually come to be in the majority given the demographic situation.
He warned that, when it comes to having children, Hungarians can procrastinate all they like but that “sooner or later another people will come and people the Carpathian basin and all of Europe.”
Kövér also told the packed house that migrants coming to Europe are not really impoverished or needy as “it requires horrible money to get this far.” He even speculated that, of those attending the public forum, “there are not ten people who have as much money in their bank account as they do.” He invited members of the audience to calculate for themselves “how much it costs to take a taxi from the southern border to Vienna.”
The speaker then proceeded to criticize the migrants for fleeing war zones instead of staying and fighting.
“Our soldiers are fighting there, and robust young men come here, and their first question is where they can charge their telephones and withdraw money wired to them from their bank accounts.”
Towards the end of the forum, questions submitted in writing by members of the audience were read aloud. Index.hu notes that these mostly took the form of comments such as “let’s fight together, Mr. Kövér” and “the migrants should be settled on a Greek island.”
Kövér said the Greeks needed to defend their coast and that, if necessary, they should fire on migrant boats and turn them around. He said a “hotspot” could be set up on a Greek island where the migrants remained while their asylum applications were processed.
The parliamentary speaker concluded the forum by warning that Muslim immigrants are “impossible to integrate”, citing the example of German football player Mesut Özil who Kövér claims “bites the palm of his hand” rather than sing the German national anthem and considers himself first and foremost a Turk despite being a German citizen. The Fidesz politician warned that in the event of conflict, Turkish immigrants could not be expected to take Europe’s side, and that surveys showed they gave priority to religious law over German law.
On a lighter note
The forum purportedly held on the “life and death” issue of whether or not to allow 1,3o0 asylum seekers to temporarily settle in Hungary, was not without its moments of comic relief, reports Index.hu. Fidesz MP János Pócs reportedly told a number of “migrant” jokes, including the following humdinger:
Three beggars in Budapest meet at night to see how much they collected.
“I collected two thousand forints. I wrote on a sign that I’m hungry” says the fist one.
“I collected three thousand forints. I wrote on a sign that I have three children and that all of us are hungry” says the second one.
“I collected ten thousand forints. I wrote that I want to go home, but that I have no money for that” said the third one.
The government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has reportedly spent some HUF 3.9 billion (USD 14.5 million) to date, or roughly HUF 3 million per asylum seeker to be temporarily settled in Hungary, on a countrywide media campaign enjoining Hungarians to vote “no” on October 2nd in the interest of “sending Brussels a message even they can understand.”