Exclusive: West Must Solve ‘Demographic Crisis’ or ‘Europe Will Be Lost’ – Hungary Govt


Hungary’s minister for families believes that “the demographic crisis of the Western world” is one of its greatest challenges, and that without serious action to support parents “Europe will be lost.”

This is part two of a two-part interview with Katalin Novák, Hungary’s Minister for Family Affairs. Read part one here.

Discussing some of the wider issues around Hungary’s world-leading programme of support for people to have families — as an alternative to mass migration, which the country’s conservative government sees as undesirable due to the long-term impact on social cohesion and the national culture — Minister Novák dismissed any suggestion that the policies are “leftist” merely because they involve state support.

“I would never declare our family policies leftist. We give choice, the freedom of choice, real opportunities,” said the Hungarian stateswoman, whose prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has indeed been at pains to criticise many Westerners and the European Union for “making excuses for the crimes of communism” in years gone by.

“Since 2010, we have been elected three times by a two-thirds majority in each case. Hungarian people gave us a clear authorisation, which we need to follow…  to address Hungarians’ belief that the future lies in the increased support of families,” Novák insisted.

“While we spend more and more on family policies, income taxes related to childrearing are also decreasing at the same time: we have a family-friendly tax system and mothers raising at least four children are exempt from paying personal income tax forever,” she explained.

“We think that the demographic crisis of the Western world is one the biggest challenges we face. If we can’t find a long-term solution to the problem, if we don’t act immediately, Europe will be lost.

“At the same time, conservative values, including family values are constantly attacked by the Left. We need to act, to enable young couples have children, strengthen families already raising kids, and to build strong, value-based alliances globally that promotes the traditional family,” she declared.

Minister Novák went on to share some details of discussions she had recently with political counterparts in Japan — like Hungary, a Westernised country which has rejected mass migration in order to preserve its national character and social cohesion, but which, famously, is facing great challenges as a result of declining birthrates and an ageing population.

“We had a great and meaningful conversation with Seiko Noda, the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Member of Parliament and a prominent leader of the ruling party, LDP,” she said.

“Although we face the same problem demographically and we are both committed to find working solutions, there hasn’t been direct talks in the field between our countries before,” she added — a perhaps somewhat surprising revelation to conservatives who have been keeping abreast of Hungary’s progress on these issues since 2010.

“In Japan, marriage numbers are falling and the fertility rate has also been decreasing… In Hungary, the fertility rate and the number of marriages are increasing, while the number of divorces and abortions are falling,” she noted.

“Among others, we exchanged views on the Hungarian IVF regulation that provides free treatment, the baby-expecting subsidy that provides a 28,000-euro loan for young married couples which they don’t need to pay back when bearing three children, and I also talked about Hungarian measures helping mothers balance work and family life,” she said, referencing some of the family support policies covered in part one of her interview with Breitbart as well as Hungary’s recent move to make fertility treatment free of charge.

Minister Novák conceded that the progress of Hungary’s family support programme had been somewhat disrupted by the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, but suggested that “Hungarians were more prepared for the crisis caused by the epidemic thanks to 10 years of pro-family decision-making”, adding: “I also deeply believe that thanks to our pro-family initiatives during the crisis, we will be able to overcome the negative consequences of COVID soon.”

This contrasts with the situation in France, for example, where, she noted, birthrates have collapsed to 1945 levels, with declines in the likes of Germany and Sweden observable as well — but with no family support system comparable to Hungary’s in place to allow them to bounce back.

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