János Lázár’s video, which claimed migrants had made Vienna more dangerous and dirtier, was removed by social media giant Facebook after a massive backlash.
In the video, in which Lázár appears to be visiting the heavily migrant-populated Favoriten district of the Austrian capital, the Hungarian minister said: “It’s clear that the roads are dirtier, the environment is poorer, and the crime rate is much higher,” noting there were few non-European migrants in the area 20 years before.
“The number of immigrants has increased to 700,000 people. The majority of them live here in this district of Vienna,” the Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office said
“We will soon see how Budapest will look in 20 years if the opposition parties let the immigrants into Hungary,” he added.
The video was subsequently deleted from Lázár’s Facebook page by the social media company on Wednesday. In response, Lázár wrote: “The video of my visit to Vienna was censored and deleted by Facebook. I think that this violates freedom of expression. I also invite facebook admins to make this video available again.”
Several hours later, the video was restored to Lázár’s page to which the minister wrote a thank you to the social media giant.
The video comes less than a month before the Hungarian national elections in which Lazar’s party Fidesz is largely expected to hold on to its significant majority in the Hungarian parliament, according to recent polls.
Hungary, ZRi poll:
Fidesz/KDNP-EPP: 63% (+12)
Jobbik-NI: 12% (-5)
MSZP/MLP-S&D/ALDE: 12% (-1)
LMP-G/EFA: 7% (+1)
DK-S&D: 5% (-3)
Mom-*: 1% (-1)
Field work: February 2018
Sample size: N/A
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) March 1, 2018
Fidesz leader and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has warned of the consequences of mass migration on several occasions vowing to fight anyone in the European Union who supports mass migration and wants to ” change the Christian identity of Europe”.
Some in the Austrian media and those on social media have complained that Lázár’s portrayal of the heavily migrant populated Favoriten district “insults Vienna” despite the district seeing several major cases of inter-ethnic violence and murders over the last year.
Migrant crime is also a large problem in Austria with figures released earlier this year showing foreigners commit up to half of all the crimes in the country.