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Migration issues in the local election campaign

September 20th, 2019

Pro-government commentators accuse the Left of downplaying the threats and dangers of illegal migration. A liberal commentator, on the other hand, accuses the government of anti-immigrant fear-mongering aimed at mobilizing its rural base.

In Magyar Hírlap, Ervin Nagy accuses ‘egalitarian European elites born under a liberal hegemony and socialized by EU bureaucracy’ of further polarizing European politics. The conservative pundit alleges that the new Italian government ‘is sending an invitation’ to migrants by allowing ships with asylum seekers to dock in their harbours. Nagy suggests that the EU will face the fate of the Roman Empire, i.e. that it will be weakened and disintegrate as a result of uncontrolled migration – also as a result of the ‘treason’ committed by liberal elites who facilitate massive population movements. As an example of such a politician, he mentions the Democratic Coalition’s MEP Klára Dobrev, former PM Gyurcsány’s wife.

Magyar Nemzet’s Gyula Haraszti dissects former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s claims that there is no migrant crisis, and that any such suggestions are empty fearmongering. The pro-government columnist cites the UNCHR’s latest report according to which global migration flows have surged since 2015. Haraszti adds that according to a Europol report, the Islamic State established a route to send in radical Islamists to Europe. Unless illegal migration is stopped, Europe is unlikely to be safe from terrorism, Haraszti concludes.

On Index, Tamás Fábián believes that Fidesz has tailored its migration related rhetoric to the municipal elections in October. The liberal commentator writes that after a ‘lull’ in its propaganda on migration since the European Parliamentary election in May, Fidesz is now using the same old strategy of fearmongering to mobilize its voters in the local election. He remarks that Fidesz is directing its anti-immigration messages primarily towards rural voters. In bigger cities, Fidesz tones down such anti-immigration rhetoric, fearing that a loud anti-migration campaign would mobilize opposition voters more than its own base, Fábián suggests.

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