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President calls for incentives to young people to have families

"We must make starting a family an attractive option for the next generation," President Katalin Novak said in an interview published in regional daily Petofi Nepe on Tuesday.

In her interview summing up a recent visit to Bacs-Kiskun County, the president noted the government’s decade-long work in consolidating family policies, insisting the country had “achieved a pro-family turnaround unparalelled in the welfare world”.

She said she had visited a family with five children in Tiszaalpar, and the young family was “proof that you can give so much even with modest means”.

Concerning Hungarian communities in neighbouring countries, Novak said Transcarpathia Hungarians “may be in the most difficult situation”, noting the war and that circumstances for Ukraine’s ethnic minorities had “considerable deteriorated in recent years”.

She added, however, that the Venice Commission’s position that Ukraine’s leadership had set expectations in terms of improving minority rights and offered “some faint hope”.

“Ukraine is at war; its becoming an EU member is a distant goal, but the integration of the Western Balkans should be speeded up: this would serve the interests of both Hungary and the EU,” Novak said.

Concerning her visit to Bacs-Kiskun, Novak said her programme had been “packed” with visits, meeting locals, visiting factories, schools, and the country’s southern border.

Regarding the latter programme, she said: “Hungarian families can sleep in safety thanks to those who are protecting the Hungarian border.” She said the country’s border control system conveyed a clear message: “Whoever doesn’t follow a [legal] path isn’t welcome.” She added that the point of her visit to the border was to thank border guards for “protecting not only Hungary’s security but that of Europe, too”.

In Kiskunhalas, the president attended the oath-taking ceremony of 99 young army officers. “It’s good to see that more and more young people have a calling to protect the homeland.”

Meanwhile, the president said “we Hungarians are present at nearly all locations in the world.” Referring to the post-WWI Trianon peace treaty, she added that many Hungarians had been “forced to leave when the country was mutilated”. Others, she added, had been “expelled by the communist dictatorship or went abroad to follow their dreams or calling.”

Hungarians’ extensive presence in the world was, she said, “an asset for the nation”. “As president, I seek communication with the diaspora, as ethnic Hungarians have worked for many good causes worldwide,” she said.

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