Hungary’s governing party has launched an anti-mass migration billboard campaign in the style of Brexit leader Nigel Farage’s famous ‘Breaking Point’ poster from the EU referendum.
The poster uses the same image of a long column of illegal migrants marching through Europe which featured in the UKIP poster, although it is emblazoned with a huge ‘STOP’ sign rather than the ‘Breaking Point’ slogan from the original.
Hungary found itself on the frontlines of the migrant crisis in 2015, with over a thousand illegal migrant who had passed through neighbouring Serbia rioting and hurling rocks and chunks of masonry at police — injuring several — when it would not allow them to force the border.
The UKIP poster focused the public’s attention on the migrant crisis and the long-term threat it posed to the European Union and its member-states, with Brussels having failed to control its common external border or support countries like Hungary which were seeking to do so on their own initiative.
EU loyalists and liberal eurosceptics were squeamish about the poster and many disavowed or furiously denounced it as “racist” — but supporters believe this knee-jerk reaction by the media and political class merely hardened the public’s resolve to vote for Brexit.
According to this view, the poster’s hostile reception showed the establishment was still unwilling to confront the issues around the EU’s mismanagement and even encouragement of mass migration, despite previous attempts to convince voters they would no longer dismiss “legitimate concerns” about immigration as bigotry.
Striking a similar tone in Budapest on Wednesday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told listeners “It is good to live here, to raise children here, and to know that our families are safe,” adding: “This is no longer the case in the cities of immigrant countries.”
He said “the people of Budapest will decide” whether or not they want their city to end up like the capitals of “immigrant countries” in Western Europe, such as Berlin, London, and Paris, on April 8th, when his Fidesz party takes on the opposition in national elections.
“We will preserve Budapest as a beautiful, exciting and safe city”, he promised — but warned the opposition would take Hungary down “the path leading to everyday life in an immigrant country”.
“We Hungarians have only one homeland,” he stressed, highlighting the importance of the Central European country’s rapidly-constructed southern border wall in deterring illegal immigration, and describing how the waves of mass migration Europe has experienced up to now are only the beginning of an oncoming “flood”.
“One bad decision, one step in the wrong direction, and our downhill course will be unstoppable,” he warned.