The opposition Jobbik party has called on the government to support the housing of Hungarian youth rather than establishing a Chinese campus in Budapest.
Deputy party leader Dániel Kárpát Z called it “outrageous” that the government would spend 540 billion forints (EUR 1.5bn) on the project from taxpayer money and loans, and scrap the plan to build a student city with sporting and recreation facilities for the accommodation of 8,500 Hungarian young people on the land in question. Kárpát Z insisted that the government should immediately revise the project. Jobbik, he said, would only welcome foreign universities here if they served the interests of the Hungarian economy and its youth. Referring to his party’s preferential housing rental and home-creation shadow policy, he said that all Hungarian young people should be able to prosper in their homeland.
The past ten years of Fidesz rule, he said, had witnessed a “brutal emigration spiral”, with the cream of Hungarian youth forced to find their future abroad. He called the government’s policy of using “Chinese mega loans to pave the way for Chinese investment projects” a “betrayal of young Hungarians”.
Gergely Karácsony, the city’s mayor, said on Facebook that the Budapest city council opposed plans to build a “Chinese elite university campus” in place of a students’ quarter in the capital’s 9th district. “Providing cheap housing for Hungarian students is far more important than providing subservient assistance to China’s quest for influence using taxpayer money,” Karácsony said.