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Migration realities – beyond the shouting

September 6th, 2016

A conservative commentator finds the divisive debate over migration counterproductive. He adds that despite its harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric, the government is by no means sealing off Hungary’s borders.

In Magyar Nemzet, Szabolcs Szerető contends that the highly polarized and partisan battle over EU migration redistribution quotas makes meaningful dispute over migration impossible. The conservative columnist thinks that the Left has walked into the Fidesz trap by failing to realize that the majority of traditional left-wing voters are no more welcoming towards ‘massive waves of undocumented migrants’ than supporters of the Right. Szerető criticizes both what he regards as the Left’s irresponsible strategy, which downplayed the dangers of uncontrolled migration, as well as the government’s harsh anti-immigrant fear mongering rhetoric. He notes, however, that despite its simplistic messages which suggest that the government is in favour of zero immigration, more than 300 hundred refugees have been granted asylum this year, others have gained permanent residence through the investment visa program, and the government has also pondered the need to invite guest workers to fill vacancies in industry and other sectors. Szerető nonetheless thinks that the migration dispute will become even louder and more polarized as a result of the 2 October referendum.

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