Hungary to introduce Forced Labor, Labor Camps
The labor plan will result in 225 million euros savings annually for the government and in turn facilitate a massive reduction in national wage levels. The payment paid for those undertaking the forced labor is based on the social assistance rate of 28,500 forints (110 euros) per month, i.e., a sum which is less than half the monthly minimum wage of 78,000 forints.
In recent years thousands of public employees have been laid off, leading to staff shortages in some areas. The labor plan will free up workers to be exploited in forced labor schemes for major state works programs related to infrastructure and agriculture. Hungarian media have cited the construction of soccer stadiums, road works, maintenance of drainage systems and the construction of dams as examples of the new âcommunity serviceâ.
400,000 Hungarians are immediately eligible to carry out such labor. In a recent interview Orban made clear that, in his view, such forced labor was urgently required. In future dams will be constructed ânot with the technology of the 21st century (âŚ), but by hand.â
The plan envisages that the unemployed can be used either for state projects, or âloaned outâ to private companies. It is probably no coincidence that these plans were announced during the recent visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to Hungary. In addition to buying up large quantities of government bonds, China also plans to invest in industrial and infrastructure projects in the country.
In order to increase the army of potential forced laborers the duration for the payment of unemployment benefit is to be reduced to 180 days from the current 270 days. In a parallel action, the Health Ministry announced that the records of about 220,000 disability pensioners are to be reopened. They will be examined to check their health status. Those regarded as capable of some sort of work will then lose their disability status, making them eligible for forced labor.
At the same time, the new law provides a number of benefits for employers, which, as the Wall Street Journal declared, will give âentrepreneurs more elbow roomâ.
The rules governing the unemployed have been dramatically tightened up. If the distance from their homes to the site of their forced labor exceeds a journey time of two hours, they are to be housed in local barracks.
Those hardest hit by the measures which will be the Hungarian Roma minority, which accounts for nearly 8 percent of the population. Due to pervasive discrimination, unemployment in the Roma community averages more than 50 percent, and in many areas is close to 80 percent.
According to the government, gangs of forced laborers are to be monitored by retired police officers. Thousands of retired police officers who are barely able to make ends with their miserly pensions and being more or less forced to return to work.
Havenât seen other online sources in English, but itâs reported in other respectable outlets like SĂźddeutsche Zeitung (German), which mentions that the labor measures will be able to be enforced on any person unemployed for longer than 90 days, labor sites may be 6 hours away from place of residence. This is coming together with news of (see the SZ article)
* Hungary slashing the number of acknowledged religious organizations (from 350 to 14);
* Hungary planning on legislation that will retroactively make national debt a âpolitical crimeâ;
* Hungaryâs Media Law is in full force, further and further crushing oppositional media
* Who Will Confront the Hatred in Hungary?
* Thirteen companies petition EU against Hungarian tax law
* Hungary Passes Controversial Media Law
* Hungary so Strapped for Cash, it Nationalizes its Private Pension Funds Worth $14 Billion
* Hungary willing to consider changes to media law â Critics say the law is âincompatibleâ with press freedom
* Hungaryâs Rising Right: Roma Defenseless against Extremist Vigilantes