Local elections earlier this month have confirmed that nationalists Jobbik are now Hungary’s second largest party, an analysis of results has confirmed.
Jobbik won outright control of fourteen cities and towns—a significant achievement in its own right bearing in mind that in the previous local elections four years ago, the party only won control of three cities.
In the countryside, Jobbik won five towns and nine villages, up from one town and three villages in 2010.
Ozd, an industrial town of 35,000 people in northeastern Hungary, was the biggest prize won by Jobbik in the municipal elections. In that town, long plagued under a vicious wave of Gypsy criminality, Jobbik’s victorious campaign was based on the promise to issue an ultimatum to the Gypsies—“follow our rules or leave town.”
According to a manifesto posted on the Jobbik site next to a photograph of Ozd’s newly elected mayor, David Janiczak, “We think there are two ways to solve the Gypsy question… The first one is based on peaceful consent, the second on radical exclusion.”
“Our party wishes to offer one last chance to the destructive minority that lives here, so first it will consider peaceful consent. If that agreement fails, then and only then the radical solution can follow,” it said.
It was however the fact that Jobbik came second in 18 out of 19 counties, ahead of the Socialists, which revealed the true growth in support for the party. This second place advance was largely ignored by the controlled media.
In Hungary’s last parliamentary elections, which took place in April, Jobbik also showed a marked increase, winning 20.3 percent of the vote, with most of the support coming from poor areas in the east of the country. Jobbik is the third-largest party in Hungary’s parliament and has three MEPs.
“By 2018, Jobbik will govern this country,” party leader Gabor Vona told cheering supporters in Budapest as the election results came in. Vona said his party had notched up a significant achievement in the local elections, adding that he trusted that in the 2018 general election voters would have a choice between Fidesz and Jobbik. He said that Fidesz’s “two-thirds majority will not last forever,” and so Jobbik would start preparing for government.
* The EU funneled around $100 billion to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia between 2007 and 2013 for economic development programs to benefit Gypsies.
Gypsies in Hungary: Quick Facts
* According to the 2011 census, Gypsies compose 3.16 percent of the total population, although their notorious lack of cooperation with the authorities and refusal to participate in birth registrations or other official government processes, means that their real numbers are estimated at far more, up to around 10 percent of the total population.
* Less than one-fifth of Gypsy children enroll in vocational secondary schools or comprehensive grammar schools. Of those who do enroll, over 80 percent drop out without finishing.
* Over the past fifteen years, a process of white flight from Gypsy areas has resulted in increasingly concentrated Gypsy residential areas, leading to unjust accusations that the Hungarian government is “segregating” them.
* The percentage of Romani children in “special schools” (i.e. for those who have mental disabilities) in primary schools stands at around 42 percent.