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Opposition parties protest ‘systematic import’ of guest workers

The opposition Jobbik and the radical Mi Hazank (Our Homeland) parties on Wednesday called the "systematic import" of guest workers to Hungary "unacceptable" and called for a scheme to induce Hungarians to return home from working abroad.

Deputy party leader Daniel Z Karpat told an online press conference that the government had “sneakily incorporated” a section in the law ending the pandemic-related special legal order which enables employment agencies to bring Third World workers to Hungary in a systematically, with no extra permit needed for their long-term employment.

He said it was baffling that while ruling Fidesz was loudly protesting against migration, it participated in organising the import of labour. Workers from exotic countries are arriving in large numbers, soon to reach a range of hundreds of thousands, he added.

Jobbik is instead calling for a scheme to attract Hungarians to return home from working abroad, offering them support for accommodation and wages that match their income abroad. Additionally, people without jobs should get free cross-training to enter the primary labour market, he added.

At a separate press conference, Janos Lantos of the radical Mi Hazank (Our Homeland) party slammed the government, saying it had campaigned during the 2015 immigration crisis with not allowing new arrivals to “take away Hungarians’ jobs”. The same government has now “made parliament approve a law” that would allow employment agencies with the necessary qualifications to bring workers from “faraway countries” into Hungary without special permits, he said.

Mi Hazank would tie the employment of third country citizens to permits and would slash the number of permits provided, he said.

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