Hungary’s left-wing coalition opposition’s new leading candidate, Péter Márki-Zay, is being presented as a conservative, but his open borders position and liberal attitude towards migration is proving a liability in Hungary.
Fearing a loss in the polls, he tries to hide the fact that, like Former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, he would open the border to the masses of illegal migrants.
As candidate for prime minister of the left, Márki-Zay gave a presentation at a conference in the Gellért Hotel in Budapest in the autumn of 2020, where he spoke mockingly about Viktor Orbán wanting to stop migrants, tying it to an unwillingness to try new things, such as genetically modified organism (GMO) crops.
“We closed ourselves a little bit and fell behind, fell behind the world. This confinement, this non-openness is manifested in so many things. (…) When it comes to technology, what I said earlier is how amazing the world is evolving. How did we respond to technological change? One of them being GMOs. We immediately banned it here and said there was no place for GMOs. In this heroic stance against the unknown, the bad, and the risky, we know that we do not like to let in migrants, gays, gender propaganda, and everything else, and Viktor Orbán wants to stop it at the borders.
He also wants to stop GMOs, and with just as much success as with everything else. It is not possible to stop GMOs. There are no longer GMO-free seeds, and so on. No country is truly GMO-free, and the goal is to use technology responsibly and wisely and not to close ourselves, becoming much less competitive and efficient than others,” said Márki-Zay.
Márki-Zay effectively said that migration, much like GMO crops, cannot be stopped. However, Márki-Zay is apparently overlooking the immigration systems of a wide range of countries such as Japan, Israel, and China, all which have exceedingly restrictive immigration systems. The left-wing opposition leader also appears to overlook the fact that Hungary is not the only country that has banned GMO food products. The list is long, and includes France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Poland, Denmark, Malta, Slovenia, Italy, and Croatia.
Márki-Zay has also made other questionable remarks about migration, including his support for making foreigners residing in Hungary into “Hungarians.”
“Unfortunately, the European Union is not at the forefront of integration… So obviously in Europe, although there are a lot of failures in integration, there are also success stories. I would like us to move forward in integration in Hungary, where many foreign-born people already live, and to ensure that these people are integrated like the Swabians who moved to Hungary 100, 150, 200, 300 years ago, Saxons, Ukrainians, Ruthenians, Tots or Slovaks, Romanians, Oláhs, Serbs, Rats. We have been able to integrate these people over decades, centuries, generations, and it is important for us to have an inclusive, loving society where these people will become Hungarian in a generation or two at the latest. ”
Viktor Orbán is going up against a coalition made up mainly of left-wing parties along with one far-right party. However, the coalition knows that Hungary is unlikely to support a left-wing candidate in the general election, which led it to pick Márki-Zay.
Ferenc Gyurcsány, who Márki-Zay has joined with in a coalition, has expressed many times in recent years that, as the international left, he is in favor of mass, uncontrolled migration. In a 2015 parliamentary speech, the former prime minister said bluntly that he thought we had obligations to immigrants.
“I don’t want to have to live in a country where we don’t see the image of ourselves in these people. I don’t want that. You see, as a Christian party, one of the most defining values is the Christian belief. Your radical right-wing opposition, which makes me resentful, goes so far as to erect crosses in the country. Yet, don’t they think the Creator is there in all of us? Do they not think that we are all consequences of the will expressed by the Creator? Don’t they think the Creator doesn’t want to differentiate between us in any way? I ask you as a non-practicing Christian. I do not mock you, I do not want to make fun of your religious beliefs. I would like to ask you if you see the image of God in all people, regardless of who they are, and feel a responsibility towards them?” he said while appealing for Hungary to halt its strict immigration policy.