Anti-Immigration Billboard Campaign – If you come to Hungary…

Billboard apologizing for the prime minister Orbán

Hungary has been over the past month struggling with a huge influx of refugees that amount up on average to 400 people/day.

Being the gateway to Schengen zone, while it is being encompassed by 4 non-Schengen countries (Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia). Guarding more than 1000 km has become lately more and more demanding.

Hungarian Prime Minister uses this situation to play the anti-immigrant card in order to regain lost popularity. Many voters changed in the past year for extreme right wing nationalist party – Jobbik. What is the reaction of Hungarians on Orbán’s “billboard campaign”?

Decline in popularity requires strong action

Viktor Orbán (prime minister of Hungary, head of Fidesz governing political party) launched an anti-immigration billboard campaign with the main aim to regain popularity and votes of people who feel threatened by immigration and terrorism.

According to the poll carried out by IPSOS on 1st April 2015, the support for Jobbik raised to 17% and the ruling government party Fidesz would have scored just 21%. If you compare to the results of a poll carried out by the same institution on 1st May 2014 where Fidesz has the preference of  37% and Jobbik scores only 12%.

Political Tip: The nation needs to be consulted

Couple of days ago, billboards with 3 types of controversial and unwelcoming messages started popping up in Hungarian cities. These billboards are a part of the National consultation on immigration and terrorism  (Nemzeti konzultáció a bevandórlásról és a terrorizmusról) .

Firstly, Hungarians were distributed a form asking them for their opinion on the following questions:

Foreword: Europe became the target for millions of immigrants. Here in Hungary, in the past years, the number of illegal immigrants grew 20x. This brings new dangers that must be addressed. Therefore the Hungarian government launched a consultation on immigration.

  1. We can hear many different opinions about the growing number of acts of terrorism.  How important is for you the increase of terrorism (e.g. French attacks or ISIS actions)?
    • Very important
    • Important
    • Not important
  2. According to you, in the next years, can Hungary be target of terrorist attack?
    • There is a big chance
    • It can happen
    • It is totally excluded
  3.  There are some people, who think that the bad immigration politics from Brussels is linked to increase in terrorism. Do you agree with this?
    • I totally agree
    • I rather agree
    • I do not agree
  4. Did you know that the economic immigrants are crossing the Hungarian boarder illegaly and that in the past times, the number of them grew 20x?
    • Yes
    • I heard about it
    • I did not know
  5. We can hear many opinions about the question of immigration: there are some people that think the economic immigrants are endangering the jobs and the income of Hungarians. Do you agree with those opinions?
    • I totally agree
    • I rather agree
    • I do not agree
  6. There are some, who think that Brussels’ immigration and terrorism policy has failed and we need a new approach towards these questions. Do you agree with this opinion?
    • I totally agree
    • I rather agree
    • I do not agree
  7. Would you support that the Hungarian government introduces more severe law against immigration to oppose permissive politics of Brussels?
    • Yes, I would totally support it
    • I would support it to some extent
    • I would not support it
  8. Would you support that the Hungarian government introduces new laws according to which the people crossing the Hungarian boarder illegaly could be detained?
    • Yes, I would totally support it
    • I would support it partially
    • I would not support it
  9. Do you agree with the opinion that we should send back the immigrants illegally crossing Hungarian boarder, back to their country as fast as possible?
    • I totally agree
    • I rather agree
    • I do not agree
  10. Do you agree that the economic immigrants should pay for their acommodation while staying in Hungary?
    1. I totally agree
    2. I rather agree
    3. I do not agree
  11.  Do you agree that the best weapon against illegal immigration is if the European Union members help the development of those countries, from which the illegal immigrants are arriving.
    • I totally agree
    • I rather agree
    • I do not agree
  12. Do you agree with the Hungarian government that instead of immigration, we rather need to support the Hungarian families and the children to be born?
    • I totally agree
    • I rather agree
    • I do not agree
There is always more to read:  What is happening in Czech refugee detention centres?

The original questionnaire was distributed in printed form. But also a website was launched to fill in the answers electronically. So dear Hungarians, you still have a chance to dance and to share your opinion with the government.

The questionnaire stirred up some refusing reactions:


 Billboard campaign vs. Hungarians

The billboard campaign has not so far been a big blast either. Partly because it has offended many Hungarians, who decided to put an end to this populism. The text of the billboards reads:

Ha Magyarországra jössz, nem veheted el a Magyarok munkáját.

Translation: If you come to Hungary, you cannot take the jobs of Hungarians.

Ha Magyarországra jössz, tiszteletben kell tartanad a kulturánkat.

If you come to Hungary, you must respect our culture.

Ha Magyarországra jössz, tiszteletben kell tartanad a törvényeinket.

If you come to Hungary, you must respect our laws.

The fact that the billboards are written entirely in Hungarian is actually showing the propagandist nature of such message, as for obvious reasons, the immigrants that entered Hungary in the recent waves can hardly speak this very difficult language. The saddest part of this whole questionnaire and billboard campaign is that this is paid by the state. Many Hungarians just seem to not have any patience with such anti-immigration card that Orbán Viktor played. Guess, it is partly because some of them remember, how it felt to flee their home as refugee. In aftermath of the 1956 Hungarian revolution, 200,000 Hungarians and became immigrants too.

And reaction to Nemzeti konzultáció?


Reportage from a refugee camp in Debrecen

The reporters of (link to original article in Hungarian) have visited a refugee camp in Debrecen to ask the people staying there, what they think about governments message. Watch here: (dialogues in English with Hungarian subtitles)

Hungarians turn to vandals with a cause

The billboards provoked a wave of refusal in Hungary. Many of them have become a target of vandals, while 6 people were arrested for damaging  them. Video: (no translation necessary to understand)

There is always more to read:  A sneak peek at Sziget festival 2016 - two days to go
Pictures of altered billboards here.

Translation: If you come to Hungary, you cannot marry Orbán Viktor.

Vandals get opposition’s support

The political party Együtt (Together) claimed that they are organizing a movement to tear down the billboards. Chairman Viktor Szigetvári has pronounced that the party would support the activitists and would offer them necessary legal and political support.

The police has been ordered to watch over the billboards in order to prevent vandalism. This has been widely opposed by the Socialist party that claims that police should be watching over the well-being and safety of tax-paying inhabitants rather than over xenophobic billboards.

Today, bilboards with the slogan: Sorry about our prime minister started appearing on social media and soon they will be in the streets of Budapest. This initiative of the Hungarian Two-tailed Dog Party has already raised 15 million Forint (48 000 EUR) from private individuals to make these billboards be in the streets for real.

Billboard apologizing for the prime minister Orbán
Billboard apologizing for prime minister Orbán

BTW: Heard over some rumours that the dentist from the Debrecen refugee camp video has been already offered a job!!

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Want to find out more about Hungarians? Read my post Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Hungarians: But Were Afraid to Ask


6 Replies to “Anti-Immigration Billboard Campaign – If you come to Hungary…”

  1. And I don’t want any of my money going to the EU to Hungary or to any other foreign crnutoy; unless I choose to give some of my money to them.The UK government, the EU, and every other EU government are thieves. They are stealing money from the pockets of us normal people without our consent and spending it on things that we don’t want it spent on.The sooner the EU crumbles to dust, with the EU apparatchiks underneath the rubble, the better for all of us in Europe. Socialism – the scourge of the 20th. Century carried over into the 21st. Century.

    1. Very strong allegation, anything to support your claims?
      How do you thing this relates to the original topic of the article?

  2. Spend a few million huf to make those billboards, and spend another few to asking ridiculous directional questions and spending MORE money to protect them against the overdrive leftsiders who wants to remove it, is really pisses me off. And meanwhile Hungarian civils collect money to make a parody billboard campaign. It really shows how absurd Hungary is. Would it be a better idea to spend that money to make a proper migrant, refugee , immigrant -whatever you name it- system ? Spend that money to searching solutions to that global European problem without political bullshits? But right about one thing; we must to controll who, and where enter our contry and continent. If somebody knocks on my door for help, I rather let them in than if they peeks from chimney like Santa in December.

  3. […] of course, agree. Having thus manufactured a show of public support, Orban’s Fidesz party posted billboards around the country with messages like, “If you come to Hungary, you cannot take the jobs of […]

  4. […] of course, agree. Having thus manufactured a show of public support, Orban’s Fidesz party posted billboards around the country with messages like, “If you come to Hungary, you cannot take the jobs of […]

  5. […] Imagine de fundal: un bilboard pe care se citește: ”Ne pare rău pentru prim-ministrul nostru”. Bilboardul face parte dintr-o campanie mai mare inițiată în 2015 de către partidul politic de satiră Magyar Kétfarkú Kutya Párt (în română s-ar traduce ca: Partidul Maghiar al Cîinelui cu Două Cozi). Campania a fost lansată ca replică la campania guvernamentală anti-migranți. Sursă: […]

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