The overwhelming majority of Hungarians agree with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán that the fine against a small Hungarian town for the segregation of Roma students was disproportionate.
Of the 60,000 SMS votes received by commercial news channel Hír TV, 97 percent said that they agree with Orbán and only 3 percent supported the verdict, which came about from a NGO backed by George Soros.
As previously reported in early January, the Supreme Court of Hungary (Curia) ruled that a municipality and school district in central Hungary must pay a huge fine for its treatment of Roma children.
The small Hungarian town of Gyöngyöspata must now pay a total of 100 million forints (€303,200) in reparation to the families of 62 Roma children who were in a segregated classroom for a few years. The segregation began in 2003, a period when Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was not in power.
The legal proceedings on behalf of the families were initiated, coordinated and financed by the foundation A Chance for Disadvantaged Children, part of George Soros’s network of Hungarian NGOs.
Shortly after the verdict, the local MP of the governing Fidesz conservative party, László Horváth, said at a press conference that the fine will put the municipality of Gyöngyöspata, with a population of 2,476, in an untenable situation, as the fine is equal to the town’s budget for two years.
At his first press conference of the year, Orbán criticized the Curia decision and his remarks sparked an outcry in the liberal media.
“If I was a local from Gyöngyöspata, I would ask how is it possible for someone to receive huge sums without any work”, Orbán said on Jan. 8.
The question Hír TV asked in the ad-hoc poll was the following:
“Do you agree with Viktor Orbán, who says it is unjust that some people be paid millions without any work or with the Soros-backed organization which advocates for Roma people in Gyöngyöspata to receive a 100 million [forints] in compensation for segregation?”