Hungarian news site 444.hu reports the government will extend the deadline for its so-called national consultation on immigration and terrorism, originally set to expire on July 1, to July 15. The decision was announced by the Government Information Center and reported by state-run media.
The consultation, which consisted of some 8 million questionnaires and a billboard campaign at a cost of HUF 1.2 billion, has been widely criticized as xenophobic and intended to manipulate public opinion rather than evaluate it.
The government says the national consultation questionnaires continue to arrive “in large numbers” and that there was even a day last week when 56,000 had been sent back to the government.
The number of questionnaires returned now exceeds one million and “based on this, it is abundantly clear that Hungarian families feel the migration issue is one that has significant influence on their lives”, reads the government’s press release.
All this has prompted the government to extend the deadline for submitting them from July 1 to July 15.
“We would like to give everyone an opportunity to share their thoughts. We would also like to thank all those who took part in the consultation by sending back the questionnaires,” writes the Government Information Center.
The government says that, based on the returned questionnaires, it is clear that Hungarians want much more stringent regulations governing immigration.
Shoot first, ask questions later
The government launched its xenophobic billboard campaign and announced plans to build a fence along Hungary’s border with Serbia without waiting for the national consultation to finish.
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