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Jan 22, 2018

PM Orbán: Hungary views Roma community as an asset, rather than a liability

“In our view, the Roma are not a helpless minority living off welfare, that is, the money of other taxpayers ... They are Hungarian citizens for whom we can provide a liveable future and opportunities right here in their homeland," PM Orbán said

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said the government views Hungary’s Roma community as an asset, rather than a liability.

The prime minister made the remark during a meeting of students and alumni of the Christian Roma Professional College Network over the weekend.

“In our view, the Roma are not a helpless minority living off welfare, that is, the money of other taxpayers ... They are Hungarian citizens for whom we can provide a liveable future and opportunities right here in their homeland," PM Orbán said.

He added that the common belief in Hungary had long been that the social inclusion of the Roma community was a lost cause. But this event is about demonstrating that this is not the case, “that there is in fact hope, one just has to work for it," he said.

The prime minister said that the only two paths for social mobility in Hungary were work and education.

PM Orbán highlighted the 2011 launch of the Christian Roma Professional College Network, which promotes social mobility.

He vowed that the government would continue the program, noting that the 2018 budget allocates an extra 140 million HUF (453,000 EUR) towards the network. Starting in 2019, the program will have an annual budget of 550 million HUF, the prime minister said.