Hungary calls for foreign nationals to bridge labour gap despite hardline immigration policies

On this version of Witness, Euronews reporters Valerie Gauriat and Zoltan Siposhegyi communicate with overseas nationals in Hungary, employed to make up for the scarcity of labourers throughout the nation. Click on on the video above to look at their report.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is understood for his laborious stance on immigration. Nevertheless, as a result of lack of native employees and within the gentle of latest industrial developments, Orbán’s ruling Fidesz get together is opening the nation’s doorways to a whole bunch of so-called “visitor employees” from growing nations.


A gaggle of cheerful ladies waved at us whereas popping out of an unnamed manufacturing facility on the finish of their shift. They not too long ago arrived from the Philippines, on a two-year contract.

We adopted them to lodging supplied by their direct employer, a Hungarian recruitment firm, which offers them with a meals allowance.

“This place could be very good, it has all of the home equipment”, mentioned Monette, strolling via the utility room. She arrived final Could: “It’s very handy to work right here since you take the wage for your self.” 

When requested if the native inhabitants had reacted to their presence, Monette and her mates had been adamant that they had been properly acquired: “We haven’t felt discriminated in opposition to! Persons are heat and pleasant, we really feel welcome and at dwelling in Hungary!”

Final Spring, Viktor Orbán said that the nation would want to create half one million new jobs over the following few years, admitting that overseas labour was wanted.

An estimated 700,000 Hungarians have left the nation to work overseas, primarily in Western European nations, as a consequence, Hungary is crying out for extra employees.

“Resulting from rising calls for in funding, firms in Hungary are more and more looking for labour from overseas,” mentioned Ákos Jáhny, the CEO of a Hungarian recruitment agency that hires a whole bunch of employees overseas every month, primarily in Asia.

It is a pattern that has brought on the top of the Hungarian Chemical Employees Federation to fret: “Wages are the identical for Hungarian employees and employees from growing nations. Since employers must pay for visitor employees’ lodging and meals,  Hungarians are shedding out. And it makes wage negotiations way more troublesome.”

The subject is a delicate one in Hungary, the place a brand new legislation will make it simpler to deliver visitor employees into the nation.

At stake are main industrial initiatives, notably within the electrical battery sector. We travelled to the city of Göd, the place the Korean large Samsung has arrange an enormous battery manufacturing facility. The agency didn’t reply to our interview requests. However the native inhabitants is up in arms.

“The principle points are the noise and the influence this has on the setting,” mentioned a resident who needed to remain nameless. “They usually turned a home on this neighbourhood, right into a visitor employees’ hostel. They scream loads, they spit within the streets…Their tradition isn’t appropriate with our residing setting” he added.


A special environment awaited us additional south, within the city of Kistelek. We visited an electrical cable manufacturing facility, owned by the Hungarian-Italian power large, Prysmian.

Firman was considered one of roughly 60 Indonesian employees employed by the corporate after it failed to search out sufficient native manpower. “Though working right here is difficult, I believe it is good as a result of everybody right here all the time helps me,” mentioned Firman enthusiastically. 

“They help our profession growth they usually present us with Hungarian language programs. And I’ve realized loads about management. I believe I’ll get plenty of alternatives right here.”

Firman and his Indonesian colleagues rapidly gained the respect of their Hungarian counterparts. “We had been frightened, however everybody modified their minds after a number of days. I’ve been right here for 40 years, and he will likely be right here for 40 years as properly” mentioned Tio Prosetyo, one of many workforce leaders on the Prysmian Group, pointing at Firman.

“I believe that is the long run”, concluded Tiago Fontela Campelo, the group’s Human Sources Supervisor in Hungary. “We plan to develop this expertise all through Europe. We’ll see an increasing number of of this type of cooperation in different European firms”.

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