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Soros, Brussels, migration to feature once again in national consultation

Hungaryʼs next national consultation includes a variety of questions regarding pandemic defense measures, but also features a few regarding the governmentʼs favorite political topics: migration, Brussels, and the plans of long-time Fidesz bête noire George Soros.

National consultation about the "Soros Plan" from 2017. (Image by Peter Csaszar / Shutterstock.com)

According to a report by state news wire MTI, the survey asks Hungarians which pandemic measures they support should a second wave of the coronavirus hit Hungary, including restrictions on movement, social distancing, the wearing of masks, border closures, moving schooling back online, restricting events, allowing people 65 and over exclusive access to supermarkets and pharmacies for several hours every day, export restrictions on materials necessary for pandemic defense and free parking in public areas.

It also gauges support for "epidemic preparedness" as long as the risk of another wave of infections is present.

The survey asks whether upgraded pandemic defense is necessary at retirement homes, and whether the government should work to ensure pandemic defense equipment can be produced in Hungary, rather than aboard, to reduce vulnerability.

The consultation also asks if Hungarians agree that internet access should be free of charge during the pandemic for families with school-age children and for teachers.

Another question aims at gauging support for the establishment of a permanent national epidemic monitoring service. It also asks whether "banks and multinational corporations" should contribute to the budget for pandemic defense. 

The new national consultation further asks if there should be incentives to buy Hungarian products and services as well as promotions of domestic tourism to support the economic recovery. Yet another question wonders whether job protection initiatives launched in the past months should be continued after the pandemic.

Soros, Brussels, Migration...

According to the report, the survey asks if respondents "reject George Sorosʼs plan to put our country in debt for an unforeseeably long period", referring to a proposal by the investor for the European Union to issue perpetual bonds (debt securities with no maturity on which borrowers pay interest but no principal) to fund pandemic expenditures.

This is not the first instance a national consultation has featured the Hungarian-born investor and philanthropist Soros. Three years ago, the Fidesz-led government carried out a national consultation regarding the so-called "Soros Plan" for the resettlement of migrants in Europe.

Recalling the alleged "Soros Plan", the survey now asks whether the government should continue border defense measures.

It also asks whether respondents agree to "standing by regulations prohibiting migration at the price of a conflict with Brussels".

Brussels (basically shorthand for the European Commission) is another of the governmentʼs favorite national consultation targets. In 2017, within the framework of its "Letʼs Stop Brussels!" consultation, the government accused the EC of wanting to force Hungary to let in illegal migrants, and attacking the country because of its tax cuts and job-creating measures. Back then, the European Commission released a response denying accusations shortly after the consultation began.

The survey also asks whether Hungary should defend against potential hostile takeovers of domestic companies by foreign parties.

Hungarians have until August 15 to respond to the questions.