Beware, the refugees are coming!

A couple of days ago a brief article appeared in Magyar Nemzet, which surely surprised those who happened upon it. The Hungarian government has surreptitiously accepted a fair number of refugees for settlement in Hungary this year. While the drumbeat against the Soros Plan and migrants is continuous and unrelenting, behind the backs of the misled people the government has accepted far more “migrants” so far this year than in 2016. While in 2016 the Hungarian government received over 25,000 applicants, this year their number shrank to fewer than 3,000. Yet, according to the Office of Immigration and Refugee Affairs (BMH), the number of people receiving asylum has more than doubled.

Here are a couple of terms we must be familiar with before we can make sense of the statistics. My source is an extremely useful pamphlet the Hungarian Helsinki Committee published in English, called “Asylum in Hungary.” I assume this is one of those publications the Hungarian government accuses the Helsinki Committee of putting out to encourage immigration and promote the Soros Plan. In fact, it is a guide to help arrivals find their way through the complicated Hungarian bureaucracy. There are three different forms of protection a refugee can get in Hungary. (1) Refugee status (menekült) is for people with a “well-founded fear” of torture, inhuman treatment, slavery, physical or sexual violence, or very serious discrimination. (2) Subsidiary protection status (oltalmazott) is for people who are at a real risk of suffering any of the following: the death penalty, torture, degrading treatment, or serious threat to a civilian’s life. (3) Tolerated status (befogadott) is a protection status based on a more general (not individualized) risk of harm in the country of origin.

According to the statistics, the Hungarian authorities’ favorite refugee status seems to be the “tolerated” one. In 2016 271 people were allowed to stay in Hungary under this rubric. This year their numbers will most likely be close to 1,000 because so far 866 such permissions have been granted. The number of those who have received subsidiary protection is also up. In 2016 only 7 people were granted such status while this year the number was 73. On the other hand, the Hungarian authorities are extremely reluctant to grant bona fide refugee status. In fact, this year fewer such permissions were granted (89) than in 2016 (154). What is the reason for this reluctance? According to the Helsinki Committee, the real difference is that those with subsidiary protection status are not allowed to have their spouses, children, or parents join them at a later date.

Source: Magyar Nemzet / Photo: László Beliczay

The refugee camps in Hungary are now practically empty. Last year there were more than 1,000 refugees in camps, while right now there are no more than 400. The reason for the small number of migrants waiting for a decision on their applications is that “the majority of the asylum seekers without waiting for the decision leave the country.” It is therefore difficult to understand why the ministry of interior still steadfastly recruits “border hunters.”

The only party that seemed to perk up after reading the Magyar Nemzet article was Jobbik. Péter Jakab, the party’s spokesman, released a communiqué in which he complained about the duplicity of Fidesz which, on the one hand, frightens people with the migrants and, on the other, allows them into the country. It is bad enough that Viktor Orbán through “settlement bonds” has allowed 20,000 people so far into the country, but “even 1,000 poor people” have been permitted to come to Hungary just this year. Jobbik, as far as the issue of immigration is concerned, holds even more draconian views than Fidesz. From this and other statements it is clear that if it depended on Jobbik, not one Middle Easterner or African would ever set foot in Hungary.

There is another piece of news that is connected to the Hungarian government’s quiet acceptance of a fair number of refugees, obviously in the hope of appeasing “the bureaucrats in Brussels.” This is an interview with Lívia Járóka, a Fidesz member of the European Parliament who was just elected one of the vice-presidents of the body. Járóka is part Roma on her father’s side. She has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University College of London. She became a member of the European Parliament in 2004, but it seems that she was dropped from the Fidesz list in 2014. However, she was just chosen to replace Mrs. Pelcz, Ildikó Gáll and also inherited her position as vice-president.

Járóka gave a fairly lengthy interview to Magyar Idők on the occasion of her election to the vice-presidency, an interview that is full of statements that would be unexpected from a Fidesz member of the European Parliament. First of all, she refused to engage in any anti-migrant talk. The reporter from Magyar Idők tried to elicit from Járóka a condemnation of the European Union’s refugee policy, but she avoided going down that path. Instead, she emphasized the necessity of their integration. “We would like it if they [the refugees] would understand that we find it important that, after a rapid and effective integration, armed with European knowledge, they would be able to return to their own homelands.” Well, well. This is a message we haven’t heard before. Integration? Until now we have heard from the highest levels of the Hungarian government that integration between Muslims and non-Muslims is impossible. Their cultures are so different that one ought not even attempt it. Moreover, the argument continues, these people don’t want to integrate. They want to live the same lives they led in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria.

What’s going on? Of course, the first thought that comes to mind is that Viktor Orbán is up to his old tricks. Playing the migrant card in Hungary but behind the scenes in the European Union showing his reasonable side. He could, for example, go to Antonio Tajani, EPP president of the European Parliament, and tell him that, although only 3,000 or so asylum seekers came to Hungary, the country has already allowed almost 1,000 to settle and the new Fidesz EPP vice-president talks about “rapid and effective integration.” Surely, he will say, there must be some misunderstanding on that score. I can well imagine such an exchange during his recent visit with Tajani. Of course, it is also possible that Járóka, judging from her ethnic background as well as her professional interests, has a more sophisticated understanding of the issue and finds it difficult to accept the kind of reasoning the absolutely loyal “parrot commando” bombards the Hungarian public with.

November 20, 2017
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You just answered a question for me. A couple of days ago, I was at Horgos, the Serbian side of the border, at the entrance of one of the refugee detention camps. I spoke with an Afghan guy who stays there in a tent and acts as a kind of informal leader for the refugees in a camp in Subotica, who are waiting for permission to enter Hungary. He told me that every day there still are five people, mostly families, going into the detention camp. I wondered why people still tried, despite the fact that Hungary doesn’t accept refugees, and he had interesting things to say. Yes, on a regular base, people are refused and expelled (leaving the camp through a door at the Serbian side, which would be against international law, as you can’t simply push refused refugees back to the last country they came from. But that is not happening, the three meters in front of the door are actually Hungarian territory, so people go from there to Serbia, completely ‘voluntary’, as they can’t remain on this three meters). I actually saw a Cuban family being expell. But the Afghan guy told me also that on a… Read more »

RE: Jobbik’s communiqué/statement about ‘solving the migration issue’* and yesterday’s post.
Just a simple question: Who can seriously consider cooperation with Jobbik?

*exact words from statement on Jobbik site –
PS: it’s even imaginable that that based on mentioned statement some believers in the government (hate) propaganda might switch from OV&Co to ‘Better’…


Considering that very little happens around OV without consent* and purpose, some thoughts about Járóka back as MEP and the given interview:
*she seemed to have been a well-respected member before she left in 2014 (received even some ‘member of the year’ awards)
*she was/is specialized in fundamental rights (especially minorities and women)
*peculiar to make her on return (after 3 years out) direct vice-president of the EP
=>could OV fear to get kicked out of the EPP (and J. is his best bid to remain)
=>could OV fear that a serious part of Roma voters considers switching to other parties, mainly caused by Farkas F.scandals (and J. is his best bid to get maximum Roma voters)

*future actions by Járóka should make clear if the interview was with or without OV’s consent


I seriously doubt many Gypsies are going to defect from Fidesz because of Farkas’ shenanigans. Farkas’ inexplicably lavish lifestyle and corruption within Lungo Drom, the organization he controls, is a story that goes back at least 20 years. I see no reason for Fidesz’s Roma supporters to suddenly get a bee in their bonnet over a few million euros disappearing.

Jaroka who is an intellectual is basically unknown in Hungary among roma voters. Farkas is well known and as I know he is very much disliked. However voting is controlled by a kind of roma mafia headed by Farkas at the behest of Orban. Basically rural romas who or whose relatives would like to receive assignment in the public work programme (a kind of work for welfare programme) have to prove that they voted Fidesz. Also their local mayor is controlled and checked whether roma districts voted for Fidesz and if not then the local mayor will not receive quotas in the public work programme and state subsidies for local projects and so his voters will be upset. This incentivizes the loyal mayor and his machinery to control the roma voters usually with the help of the local roma elite which is effectively channeled into the Florian Farkas-lead system. This is anyway easy in rural Hungary because life is rather feudal. As a result this is more of a deal between Jaroka herself and Orban. My bet is that Orban is preparing for a potential (though very unlikely) expulsion process from EPP in which Jaroka would be the best defense.… Read more »
I think it’s the same old Orban and the Western politicians will fall for the trick again. They always do. Nothing will change in reality, nothing will change in Hungary of course but Orban succeeded to find a human face for Fidesz and these days it’s worth a lot. She is a Roma and a women so under the European rules of politically correctness she cannot be criticized. She is the perfect shield for Orban. As to why Jaroka does this? It’s a career. What else would she do in Hungary with her PhD? Work under Szilard Németh in the Fidesz caucus or work for 800 euros (pre-tax) a month at a university? It’s a prestigious job, lot of money and almost zero expectations. She can feel important. Orban understand people’s vanity and he knows that she will be loyal. She has been tested and rest assured she wouldn’t be where she is without the trust of Orban. Her very existence (a roma women with a Phd from a great university), her being a loyal Fidesznik trooper is worth everything PR-wise. She is there just to represent. Jaroka is smart to understand this but it’s still a good deal for… Read more »

Re: refugees…those who elect to settle.

They would seem to be of an enterprising disposition considering the ‘welcome’. We should wish them the best knowing what difficult trials await. Magyarorszag under the curcumstances has to understand themselves and those who wish to make a life for themselves and their families. But it looks tough as the refugees who stay have to be made of strong stuff.

As for Jaroka, it will just be a matter of time before we will see herself managing things in the aviary of Magyarorszag. It remains to be seen if she will be squawking like a parrot or flying on the wings of a nightingale.


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