Xpat Opinion: Jobbik Leader Calls For Cancellation Of Residency Bonds Programme

  • 21 Oct 2016 9:00 AM
Xpat Opinion: Jobbik Leader Calls For Cancellation Of Residency Bonds Programme
A pro-government pundit accuses Jobbik of treason as party leader Gábor Vona makes Jobbik’s support of PM Orbán’s constitutional amendments conditional on scrapping the residence bond scheme. A conservative columnist, on the other hand, thinks that unless Fidesz complies, it will become evident that the governing party has a financial interest in selling Hungarian residence to foreigners.

On Tuesday, Jobbik leader Gábor Vona met Prime Minister Orbán to discuss the constitutional amendments tabled by the Prime Minister (see BudaPost October 15). After the meeting Gábor Vona said that his party would support the amendments, provided the government scrapped the residency bonds programme through which more than seven thousand investors and their family members have been offered residence in Hungary since 2013.

Fidesz floor leader Lajos Kósa accused Mr Vona of ‘treason’ for making Jobbik’s support of the constitutional amendments conditional on cancelling the residency bond scheme. Mr Kósa noted that the government had already announced that it would revise the whole bond programme anyway.

Gábor Vona has scored an own goal, László Néző comments in Magyar Idők. The pro-government accuses Jobbik leader of trying to blackmail the Prime Minister. Néző recalls that in April, Mr Vona accused Fidesz of “treason” by claiming that the quota referendum served the governing party’s political interests instead of saving Hungary from illegal migrants. Néző believes Jobbik is now doing exactly what it accused Fidesz of.

While Jobbik originally proposed a constitutional amendment to pre-empt migrant redistribution, now it is using the constitutional amendments to increase its own popularity. Néző notes that Fidesz needs the supporting votes of only a few Jobbik MPs to secure the two-thirds majority required pass the amendments. If the government does not fulfil the Jobbik leader’s demands, there might still be enough Jobbik MPs who vote yes, which would be a huge blow for the Jobbik leader, Néző suggests.

In Magyar Nemzet, Tamás Wiedermann takes up Jobbik’s defence and accuses the government of “treason”. While the government vilifies migrants, he argues, it sells residence rights to thousands of wealthy investors. The conservative columnist recalls that so far Hungary did not have to admit a single migrant through EU redistribution, while thousands gained residence through the bond scheme.

Wiedermann suspects that the residence bond programme serves only the interests of offshore companies run by Fidesz allies, who earn billions of Forints through selling the residence bonds. Wiedermann doesn’t deny that those immigrants spend hundreds of thousands of Euros to buy government bonds, but still thinks that unless it cancels the investment residence scheme, the governing party is openly admitting corruption.

Source: BudaPost

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