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Socialists at a loss about migration

August 28th, 2015

A left-wing journalist suggests that the left wing opposition was late in recognising the significance of the current migration wave and finds it difficult to react because its own constituency is divided.

In Népszabadság, Dániel Bita recalls that when the government decided to build a fence to divert or slow down the flow of migrants in June, Csaba Horváth, a leading socialist politician called migration a”pseudo-problem” and added that the main challenge was that of Hungarians emigrating to the West. Since then the MSZP has realised that migration has become a major concern for a rapidly increasing number of Hungarians but finds it hard to counter the government’s anti-migrant rhetoric, because the Socialist voting base is also largely hostile to migrants from the Third World. Bita quotes a Socialist politician saying that small parties like Együtt and the Liberals “are the only ones who can afford to be pro-migrant.” On the other hand, Bita believes the anti-migrant rhetoric of the governing forces may backfire if, as expected, they cannot stop the migrant wave. The left’s problem, he concludes, is that “the ball will be smashed” by Jobbik, rather than by “the sunken left.”




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