In this 'openDemocracy' article, the authors argue that Hungary's Prime Minister, Victor Orbán's focus on immigration, has diverted discussing deeper inqualities, extensive oligarchic type of state corruption, daily police and institutional harassment faced by Hungarian citizens, as well as intensified racism against Roma - or 'Romaphobia'. Despite the new waves of migration as Hungary has become a major transit country for migrants, the authors focus on the speed and force with which Orbán’s governing party Fidesz, have taken up an anti-immigration stance, and how this stance is being linked to anti-Roma (or anti-Gypsy) discourse.
‘Romaphobia’ has seen an unprecedented rise, and has taken on new, forms. There is the 'old' racism of institutional discrimination and structural inequalities in education, employment and housing, and poerty but also now new forms, such as the rise of verbal and physical attacks on Roma people and paramilitary activities along with a mainstream acceptance of the explicitness of such racism.
Although Orbán claims that Hungary cannot cope with immigration as it has no experience of ‘multiculturalism’, it Hungary must face up to its past and its future as a diverse nation. He must recognize that it is not migrants who bring the problem, but that problems are already endemic in Hungarian society.