In early July 2019, Orbán’s administration announced a cash incentive to grow the segregated nation’s dwindling population: married couples may take out a 10 million-forint (about $33,800) loan which they do not have to pay back if they have three children.
The interest-free loans are part of the Family Protection Action Plan, which allocates 4.8% of Hungary’s GDP to family support programs and encourages childbirth. The cash may be spent on anything.
Applicants have from July 1, 2019, through December 31, 2022, to submit an application. There are loan qualifications which must be met:
- The parents must be married.
- Must be the first marriage for at least one of the two parents.
- The wife must be between 18 to 40 years old.
- One of the parents must have paid social contributions in the last 3 years and at least 180 days in Hungary.
The loan terms are generous, to say the least:
- The loan is repayable in installments of up to HUF 50,000 (just under $170) per month, with a maturity of 20 years.
- If at least one child is born in the family within 5 years, they will not have to pay installments for 3 years and become eligible for interest-free repayment over the entire term.
- If the second child is born, repayment is interrupted for another 3 years and 30% of the debt is released.
- If the third child arrives, we will release all remaining debt.
Hungary’s conservative Fidesz party, led by Orbán, polled the Hungarian people for their stance on how to resolve their country’s labor shortage. More than 1.38 million people responded. According to Orbán, who delivered his State of the Nation address in February 2019, the prevailing public opinion was to up the birthrate rather than sponsor rampant immigration:
“We do not need numbers, but Hungarian children…The Hungarian people gave the Government a strong mandate to further expand the family protection system…People would like Hungary to remain a Hungarian country, and be family-friendly.”
Orbán vocally and energetically opposed open borders in 2015, soon after German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced her country’s new policy of “Y’all come,” which she extended globally, but actually targeted large numbers of beleaguered Africans, a mix of religions and ethnicities.
In late 2015, German officials estimated that the original half a million migrants invited previously by Merkel had swollen to an anticipated 1.5 million newcomers.
The German objective, as stated publicly, was to bolster the country’s flagging workforce to increase national productivity. The assumption was made that migrants from impoverished, war-torn parts of the world, despite being from radically different socio-economic, religious, and cultural backgrounds, would assimilate nicely and in an orderly fashion.
That, however, did not happen. All good things come in moderation and the bum-rush into Europe from North Africa soured the popular mood in Germany, as reported by Politico on October 5, 2015:
“But with nearly 300,000 refugees arriving in the past month alone, the national mood has shifted and a majority of Germans now say they are ‘scared’ by the huge numbers of asylum seekers coming across the border.”
The problem was that among the migrants were many Muslims who live mainly in new ghettos across the land, especially in urban areas. Youth gangs are rampaging the streets, railways, attacking first responders (police and firefighters), setting fire to public dumpsters and parked cars by hurling incendiary devices such as Molotov cocktails and launching barrages of fireworks, and committing criminal acts ranging from verbal assault to armed robbery to rape to murder.
Viktor Orbán foresaw the societal problems that confront all the pro-immigrant European countries today and took immediate action.
On September 3, 2015, Orbán defended the border fence, constructed with razor-wire, that was stretched along Hungary’s southern border with Serbia to keep out unvetted asylum-seekers:
“Those arriving have been raised in another religion, and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims. This is an important question because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity.
“Is it not worrying in itself that European Christianity is now barely able to keep Europe Christian? There is no alternative, and we have no option but to defend our borders.”
From the get-go, the Hungarian leader refused to adopt a compromising position regarding trying to enforce limited immigration policies:
“Quotas are an invitation for those who want to come. The moral human thing is to make clear: ‘Please don’t come.'”
As far as Orbán was concerned, Europe in 2015 was going stark raving loony and setting the stage for continental disaster – which is still unfolding today as migrants, mostly male of an age to bear arms, continue to stream northward. The Hungarian PM called out the insanity raging throughout the legislative halls throughout Europe:
“Everything which is now taking place before our eyes threatens to have explosive consequences for the whole of Europe. Europe’s response is madness. We must acknowledge that the European Union’s misguided immigration policy is responsible for this situation.”
In 2015, Orbán didn’t mind getting personal in his criticism against unbridled immigration:
“Irresponsibility is the mark of every European politician who holds out the promise of a better life to immigrants and encourages them to leave everything behind and risk their lives in setting out for Europe. If Europe does not return to the path of common sense, it will find itself laid low in a battle for its fate.”
Time will tell if Hungary’s nationalized strategy to boost population by voluntarily increasing the birth rate (albeit with a monetary incentive) is a winner or loser.