Péter Hoppál, Fidesz MP for the southern Hungarian city of Pécs and former state minister for culture posted a meme showing the images of nine childless European leaders, accompanied by the following comment:
“They don’t care for the future, the homeland, Europe, Christian culture. All they have is Carpe Diem… That’s it”
The hundreds of comments to the post and subsequent, mostly liberal media coverage, mirrored both sides of the arguments in what is a legitimate debate about Hungary’s demographic situation.
Since the fall of communism in 1990, Hungary’s population fell by 604,000 to 9.77 million, below the psychological 10 million threshold while the ratio of under-15s is the lowest since the first Hungarian census in 1870.
After winning a third consecutive term with a two-thirds majority in April, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has pledged to make demography one of his government’s top priorities. Hoppál’s post of childless European leaders is also in stark contrast with the fact most Hungarians are aware that Orbán himself has five children.