Gov’t to spend HUF 500 million on “public information” in Vojvodina

August 21, 2017

A resolution appeared in last Friday’s edition of the official gazette of the Hungarian government ordering Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén to allocate HUF 500 million (USD 1.9 million) to the publisher of a Hungarian-language publication in the Vojvodina region of Serbia. The money is to be used by the publisher, Magyar Szó Lapkiadó Kft., for “public information” purposes in the native language of Vojvodinan Hungarians.

According to the gazette, the sum is to be taken from a reserve fund for “extraordinary government measures,” but the resolution does not specify precisely what kind of public information it will be used for. The resolution calls for cooperation with the Bethlen Gábor Fund and involvement of the Hungarian National Council.

444.hu points out that a similar investment has been made in Transylvania with the involvement of the Hungarian National Council, in which a campaign was initiated to encourage Transylvanian Hungarians to vote in the 2018 general election in Hungary.

By way of comparing government expenditures, the same edition of the gazette shows an investment of some HUF 15 million (USD 58,000) directed to the training of the Libyan coast guard. According to the resolution, the Hungarian government is “strengthening its commitment to putting the brakes on the wave of illegal immigration that threatens Europe, and maintains its position that the root causes of migration must be dealt with outside of Europe’s borders.”

The HUF 15 million sum the government will spend on “dealing with the root causes of migration” amounts to about 3 percent of what it has announced it will spend on public information in Vojvodina. Around 250,000 Hungarians live in Vojvodina, some 13 percent of the total population of the region.