Hungary: Government seeks to lure young expats back home

By News from Elsewhere...
...as found by BBC Monitoring

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image copyrightAFP
image captionThousands of young Hungarians have left their homes to work abroad, but the government wants to entice them back

The Hungarian government is running a campaign to try to encourage young people living abroad to return home.

While the authorities have been engaged in high profile attempts to block immigrants, including plans to build a fence along the border with Serbia, they are eager to entice Hungarians back to the country through the "Come home, young person!" scheme. The government is providing a variety of incentives, including a free flight and a monthly allowance of 100,000 forints ($356; £230) to help with accommodation costs for a year, the pro-government Hungary Today website reports.

Secretary of State for Employment Sandor Czomba said recently that about 800 people had signed up for the scheme since it started at the end of April, although left-leaning newspaper Nepszava thinks the numbers of people returning annually will be far lower.

Many EU countries have experienced a "brain drain" of young people leaving in search of work and better salaries elsewhere, and about 350,000 Hungarians are currently working abroad, according to the national statistics office. But critics of the 100m forint ($355,000; £225,000) scheme say it's just a token gesture, and that far more had been spent on a recent anti-immigrant poster campaign.

That campaign saw billboards across the country plastered with slogans such as: "If you come to Hungary you cannot take away Hungarians' jobs." But it has been mocked by one group, which highlights the country's emigration rate. It is issuing similar posters, with one reading: "Do come to Hungary, we already work in England."

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