Deputy Prime Minister for Hungarian communities abroad Zsolt Semjén has announced that, due to the difficult situation in Ukraine, the Government will provide HUF 650 million to support Hungarians in Transcarpathia. He said that HUF 486 will be spent on supplementing the income of nearly 2000 teachers. HUF 116 million has been allocated to supporting the nutrition of 4000 children in kindergartens, and HUF 50 million for helping the work of 400 priests, mostly taking care of dispersed communities.
Mr. Semjén said that the Government has made this decision based on a proposal from the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association (KMKSZ), who had earlier consulted with teachers’ associations and the historical churches of Transcarpathia.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that Hungary is interested in a peaceful resolution, any solution that points towards peace is good, and everything that intensifies the conflict situation is bad.
Minister of State for Hungarian communities János Árpád Potápi referred to requests from Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár, in which they asked Budapest and municipalities of county level to support Transcarpathian settlements. He said that they want to coordinate the process, therefore all Hungarian local governments will be addressed in writing concerning the aid.
President of the KMKSZ László Breznovics expressed his thanks for the aid, and said that Hungarians in Transcarpathia are currently experiencing one of the most severe crises in their history. In addition to the conflict situation and military conscription, the deep economic crisis is also worsening the situation, money has almost completely lost its value and prices – including for heating and energy – have risen significantly. Currently the monthly salary of a newly-qualified teacher is equivalent to seventeen thousand forints and the average monthly wage to thirty thousand forints – but even the best-paid do not earn more than fifty thousand forints (€168, $178). Pensions are around fourteen thousand forints.
He stressed that they were very pleased about this wave of solidarity and the support from Hungary, but emphasised his hope that the times of war and crisis will be over as soon as possible. “We would like to stay in Transcarpathia”, the President of the KMKSZ stated.
Before the press conference, Mr. Semjén told national TV channel M1 that more than ten thousand people will be supported through the aid provided for teachers, priests and children. He added that the aid will be forwarded with the help of the KMKSZ, local teachers’ associations and charity organisations. The Deputy Prime Minister also noted that with the help of the twin-town system – that is, if a Hungarian settlement adopts a Transcarpathian village – the support provided for Hungarians in Transcarpathia may even double.
(MTI/Prime Minister's Office)