Since days, the government communication can handle that undersecretary Kristof Altusz blundered to a Maltese newspaper that the Orban government secretly accepted 1300 migrants to Hungary.
The right-wing conservative daily Magyar Nemzet found out that also in secret, the accepted migrants receive support to rent flats in Budapest. The outrage in the opposition and the public is explained by the fact that since 2015 the government has been actively campaigning against migration, and so far hasn’t distinguished between illegal migrants and real refugees.
In its Monday issue Magyar Nemzet wrote: since August 2016 the government secretly launched a housing programme for the accepted migrants/refugees.
According to the information which the newspaper found on an Interior Ministry website called Belügyi Alapok, the Budapest local council’s homeless service provider, the Budapest Methodological Centre of Social Policy and Its Institutions (BMSZKI) successfully applied to the funds of the European Commission’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), 9,9 billion forints between 2014 and 2020. Budapest mayor Istvan Tarlos didn’t allow the BMSZKI to answer to Magyar Nemzet.
The organisation’s report for 2016 says they launched a programme in August 2016 for helping the housing of those who received international protection, the goal is to help refugees to have or keep their own accomodations.
On the same website, there’s an Interior Minister’s instruction from 16 December 2016 – for the period 2017-18 – about the ministry’s support for four particular areas: mapping the housing conditions of refugees, the development of a housing programme, financial support for regular expenditures connected to housing, and social work.
Kata Bognar, the Menedék Association for Migrants’s programme director told Magyar Nemzet: she doesn’t know why the government hasn’t communicated this before and explained the people.
Magyar Nemzet also reminded about the press information that among the migrants accepted migrants – referred to as refugees by Orban – there were people who committed crimes, for example mugging, sexual assault, human smuggling or prison riot.
In its statement on Monday the Ministry of Interior reacted that the Hungarian government and the ministry is not providing apartments for asylum seekers and refugees in Hungary, but they admitted that via the AMIF pgrogramme they provided support to Hungarian local councils to map the housing conditions of people who received international protection, and for social work. They added that it’s not the ministry’s task to give their opinion about EU programmes, so the ministry allowed access to the AMIF funds for local councils that wanted to apply.
Considering responsibility, the ministry noted that it’s unfortunate that the EU is providing funds for the accomodation of refugees, but not for the costs of border protection and continues to ignore the Hungarian government’s requests.