Orbán's plans to counter "population exchange"
At a summit in Hungary held by the US far right coalition World Congress of Families, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán warned against immigrants to Europe bringing about a "population exchange". To counter this he promised a family policy aimed at boosting Hungary's birth rate. With this plan he could set an example for all Europe, some commentators write. Others point to contradictions in his strategy.
Orbán's family policy is exemplary
Hungary could set an example for all Europe with its family policy given that declining birth rates are a problem across the continent, the pro-government daily Magyar Hírlap underlines:
“Even in the Bible it says: 'Be fruitful and multiply!' The family is the foundation of a nation. For this reason it is simply wrong to criticise and make fun of the state and the government for interfering in family planning. … With its policy of strengthening families and encouraging people to have children, the Hungarian government is going against the European mainstream, which relies on the import of ethnically and culturally foreign youths. If Hungary's family policy is successful, as we expect it to be, it could serve as a positive example for constantly shrinking and ageing Europe.”
Having childen not a priority for the young
At 1.3 live births per woman, the Hungarian fertility rate corresponds roughly to the European average. The opposition daily paper Magyar Nemzet explains why this figure is so low:
“The reasons for the government's most recent initiative are clear: the Hungarian population has continually declined since 1980. So turning this trend around is an eminently important goal. ... However, the government mainly wants to help couples who already have one or more children. But that isn't likely to solve the problem. Most young people don't even consider having children nowadays, which can no doubt be put down to the spirit of the times. ... Consequently the government's measures need to also take this cultural trend into account. Other aspects to be borne in mind are the mass exodus of young people and the poor state of the Hungarian education and healthcare systems.”