Hungarian activists ridicule Fidesz migrant referendum propaganda

Hungarian activists ridicule Fidesz migrant referendum propaganda
“Did you know? More than 1 million people would like flee to Europe from Hungary”
By bne IntelliNews August 23, 2016

Hungarian activists are planning to organise an “anti-anti-immigration campaign” to ridicule the government's increasingly hysterical attacks on immigrants ahead of  the referendum on the EU’s migrant quota system it has called for October 2.

Supporters sent HUF14.5mn (€46,700) to Hungary’s Two-tailed Dog Party to organize the billboard campaign, local press reported on August 22.

The joke party’s billboard campaign will come as an answer to the government’s recently launched campaign that links refugees to terrorism. The government’s messages read, for example: “Did you know? Since the beginning of the migrant crisis, more than 300 people have died in Europe in terror attacks” and “Did you know? The Paris attack was carried out by immigrants?”.

The government not only distributed these messages on billboards across the country, but also flooded the state media, interrupting the coverage of the Rio Olympic Games, in the form of news segments and public service announcements.

The billboards of the Two-tailed Dog Party - to be set up in September - will read, for example: “Did you know?  The majority of crimes connected to corruption are committed by politicians,” “Did you know? More than 1 million people would like to flee to Europe from Hungary” and “Did you know? There is a war in Syria”.

“The government has still not become cool, and it still spends our money on telling us whom to hate and from whom to be afraid of,” the Hungarian joke party explained on its website why it plans to run the counter campaign. The Two-tailed Dog Party had already put out “anti-anti-refugee” billboards in the midst of the refugee crisis last year, targeting the government’s anti-immigration advertisements.

In the meantime, Hungarian security forces have reportedly put up makeshift scarecrows made out of carved sugar beet root at the country’s border fence aimed at frightening migrants. Gyorgy Schopflin, an MEP in Hungary’s governing Fidesz party and previously a respected historian, suggested on twitter that they should also hang pigs’ heads on the fence to scare away Muslim refugees, provoking uproar.

A report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in July accused Hungarian soldiers and police of using excessive violence against migrants. The Hungarian government denied those allegations.