“The biggest losers of the admittance of migrants in Central and Eastern Europe could be the Roma minority, in view of the fact that the monies being spent on their integration would have to be redirected to pay for illegal immigrants”, Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog stressed in Heidelberg on Saturday in an interview for Hungarian M1 television.

Mr. Balog attended and gave a speech at the opening of an exhibition entitled Roma Freedom Fighters in 1956 in the German city, and also met with Romani Rose, President of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, which organised the exhibition.

DownloadPhoto: Gyula Bartos

In reply to a question in an interview for Hungarian M1 television following the opening ceremony, the Minister stressed: “The biggest losers of the admittance of the migrants into Europe will be the poor and people in need, and in Central and Eastern Europe that predominantly means the Roma minority, because it will be the monies that are being spent on their integration that will be taken away and given to the migrants”.

“There are many in Germany, including many high-ranking politicians, who acknowledge everything that is happening in Hungary to assist the Roma minority. They acknowledge the efforts that Hungary is making to assure that Roma culture remains in existence, gains strength and rises from the ashes”, Mr. Balog stressed.

DownloadPhoto: Gyula Bartos

The event also provided an opportunity for him to present the György Cziffra Cultural and Education Centre, which is being established in Budapest out of government funding and is expected to open in the spring of 2019, and its arts director, Liszt Award-winning pianist János Balázs, the Minister highlighted.

In his speech at the opening of the exhibition, Mr. Balog referred to the fact that one of the world’s greatest pianists, George Cziffra, was a hero of 1956, and according to many it was his Bartok concert on 22 October 1956 that created a revolutionary mood, stressing that George Cziffra’s heritage is once again present in Budapest.

DownloadPhoto: Gyula Bartos

In his speech, the Minister of Human Capacities also pointed out that in 1956 Hungarians and Roma fought side-by-side, and for the Roma minority it went without saying that they must fight for freedom. “The Roma have been living with us in the Carpathian basin for centuries, they are part of our lives and culture, we have lived through both the good and bad periods of history together, and fought together in 1848, in 1956 and also in 1989”, Mr. Balog highlighted in his speech in Heidelberg on Saturday.