Gov’t to increase security spending in 2017 due to “ongoing migrant crisis”

May 23, 2016

Hungary

The Hungarian police, prison system and TEK counter-terrorism center are all set to receive an increase in funding in 2017 in response to what the Interior Ministry calls the “ongoing migrant crisis.” The ministry’s state secretary Károly Kontrát stated in a press conference that “defense capabilites must be increased” in order to “maintain order in the face of the migrant crisis.”

“The threat has not gone away,” he said, despite the dramatic reduction of refugee arrivals in Hungary since the construction of the fence along the Serbian border and the refusal of the government to comply with EU regulations concerning resettlement of refugees and asylum-seekers.

According to Hungarian news service MTI, to date 93 billion forints (328 million USD) have gone into “maintaining order and security” during the refugee crisis. According to the 2017 draft budget, this sum would increase dramatically with increases of 53 billion forints for police, 7.4 billion for the TEK counter-terrorism center, 34.5 billion for prisons and 22.5 billion for the National Directorate General for Disaster Management.

The announcement comes at the height of a government propaganda campaign aimed at turning public opinion against EU refugee resettlement quotas. Critics claim that ruling party Fidesz’s upcoming referendum on mandatory migrant settlement quotas is mainly to distract the public from a recent slew of corruption scandals.