László Lukács, the parliamentary group leader for the Jobbik-Conservatives opposition party, held a press conference in front of the Debrecen City Hall on Monday, 11 September. The main topic of the conference was the influx of migrant workers into the town and its region.
Lukács spoke up against the establishment of what he called a ‘migrant ghetto’, where foreign workers from Asia would be housed to work in the Eastern part of Hungary. He claims the government is planning on settling ‘an endless number’ of these migrants to ‘take away Debrecen citizens’ jobs and depress their wages’, then adding that the settling of these people would ‘also threaten the culture of the civic town of Debrecen’.
He also warned of a so-called ‘Orbán Plan’,
which he believes is the Prime Minister’s hidden objective of bringing, according to his estimation, some 500,000 foreign workers into the country, thus making one in 20 people living in Hungary a foreign-born migrant worker. The Jobbik MP also believes this supposed plan must be stopped, otherwise it will lead to the country’s demise.
Lukács went on to call out Fidesz for letting the CATL battery manufacturing plant open in Debrecen. He warned that it will have thousands of additional migrant workers employed, while its only mission is ‘to release Chinese chemicals into Hungarian soil’. At last, he proclaimed that his Jobbik party is striving to have Hungarians working for ‘decent wages’, comparable to ones in Western Europe.
Gergő Keresztesy, a representative in the Hajdú-Bihar County Council for Jobbik, also spoke at the event. He emphasized the criminal threat the influx of migrants may pose, as well as calling for an ‘open debate’ on the issue.
Jobbik: From Radical Anti-Roma and Antisemitic Rhetoric to Backing Leftists
The Jobbik party was founded in 2003, and for most of its history, it was considered a radical group to the right of Fidesz on the political spectrum. In 2018, they actually came in second in the Hungarian Parliamentary election, capturing 20.2 per cent of the popular vote and 26 out of 199 seats in the National Assembly. A young and charismatic man named Gábor Vona led their ticket then.
In April 2019, however, Vona resigned in recognition of Jobbik’s failure to form a government, and a former skinhead, Tamás Sneider succeeded him temporarily. Soon, Péter Jakab, a controversial figure who became famous for his populist stunts in parliament and online, became the new leader,
positioning Jobbik as a fierce Fidesz and Orbán antagonist.
The party’s decision to be part of the united opposition coalition in 2022, which included all left-wing parties besides them, alienated many of their voters. The opposition side ended up being thumped by another landside Fidesz-victory in last year’s election, and Jobbik members now only hold eight seats in parliament. Recent polling shows them struggling to get above the five per cent parliamentary threshold. Mi Hazánk Mozgalom (Our Homeland Movement), a Jobbik splinter group with six seats in the Assembly, successfully managed to siphon away many of the far-right voters who became disillusioned with Jobbik in recent years. Jakab has since left the leadership role as well, and was replaced by Márton Gyöngyösi, a formerly openly anti-Semitic MEP, who was infamously invited to spend a Seder dinner at his residence by US Ambassador David Pressman this year.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/MTI