Xenophobia growing in Hungary

February 19, 2015


The government has been whipping up anti-foreign sentiment in Hungary, according to Hungarian Helsinki Commission co-chair, Marta Pardavi.

Pardavi told ATV this morning that the government of Hungary was using “a non-existent problem to incite passions on the subject of refugees,” which she said is “a human rights matter.”

According to Pardavi, Kosovars are leaving their country “because it is impossible to live there.”  She says they are not emigrating to Hungary but rather are crossing Hungary’s border with Serbia to travel to Austria, Germany and other western and northern European countries where there are jobs.

She believes the EU needs to develop a solution so that these people do not feel compelled to leave their homeland.  However, if compelled to do so, then they should not be treated as “illegal” immigrants, says the civil rights lawyer.

Pardavi told ATV that “immigrants who travel to the EU in the hope of a better life are not refugees”, who she says do not come of their own accord but rather are fleeing civil war at home.   She says there has not been enough discussion of this subject even though many refugees have been arriving from Afghanistan and Syria.  Such individuals were entitled to seek refuge within the EU.

“The Hungarian government cannot take everyone into custody, and anyway this would violate EU regulations on refugees,” said Pardavi, adding that even if Hungarian legislators were to decide in favor of this, then the EU would order that the legislation be struck down.