Hungary summons Swedish ambassador over '1930s' comparison

Telegram från AFP / Omni
16 febr. 2019, 12.28

Hungary summoned Sweden's ambassador to the foreign ministry after a Swedish minister said that Budapest's new family policies "reeked of the 1930s", Hungarian media reported on Saturday.

Reacting to a new 7-point "family protection action plan" unveiled by right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Sweden's Social Democratic Social Affairs Minister Annika Strandhall had commented on Twitter that the plan "reeks of the 1930s" and that "what is happening in Hungary is alarming".

"Now Orban wants to have more 'real' Hungarian children. This kind of policy will harm the autonomy for which women have struggled for decades," Strandhall said.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in a press conference late on Friday that the Swedish ambassador had been informed that the comments were "unacceptable".

"Hungary is spending money on families and Sweden is spending it on migrants," Szijjarto said.

The new family policy was detailed by Orban in a speech last week and is aimed at countering Hungary's plummeting population trend.

The new measures include interest-free housing and family-friendly car loans, as well as exempting women from income tax once they have their fourth child.

"This - not immigration - is the response of the Hungarian people," Orban said.

Hungary has one of the lowest fertility rates in the OECD, while an estimated half-million Hungarians meanwhile have emigrated to western Europe since the country joined the EU in 2004.