The Szekler flag – Photo: wikipedia

Government spending on Hungarian communities beyond borders balloons

Annual government spending on support for Hungarian communities beyond the borders is over ten times the amount during the last year the Socialists were in power, the state secretary for Hungarian communities abroad said at the National Assembly of the Hungarians in Opusztaszer, in the southeast of Hungary, on Saturday.

Arpad Janos Potapi said practically all settlements with Hungarian populations in the Carpathian Basin had benefited from government-supported programmes. Support has been awarded to around 50,000 organisations and institutions, while over 100 programmes have been launched at the national level, he added.

In the past 12-13 years, 309 billion forints (EUR 800m) has got toward 5,400 investments, including the construction of 155 kindergartens and the renovation of another 725, he said. The government aims to give every child with a Hungarian parent or parents access to a Hungarian kindergarten, so they can then enroll in a Hungarian school, he added.

He noted that support available for families that send their children to Hungarian schools had been raised this year from 22,400 forints to 100,000 forints.

Experience shows that a large part of the children who don’t enroll in Hungarian language schools end up losing their Hungarian identity, he added.

Since 2018, Hungarians beyond the borders have been eligible to apply for maternity benefits and subscribe baby bonds, Potapi said.

Around 60,000 companies in areas with Hungarian communities have been awarded support to grow their businesses, he added.

Potapi said the Hungarian government had funded nearly the entirety of the operation of Hungarian institutions in Transcarpathia, in the west of Ukraine, since 2015.

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