Gyula Budai, a lawmaker of ruling Fidesz, said during the debate that the “prison business, an almost ten billion forint industry”, is an abuse of rights and harms the Hungarian state. It also harms public trust in the judiciary and goes against the “people’s sense of justice”, he said.
The opposition nationalist Jobbik party blamed the government for the situation, pointing out that the law on compensations had been passed by the ruling parties back in 2016. Csaba Gyüre said the proposal would only delay a proper solution.
The Socialists also noted that the law on compensations for inmates was passed by Fidesz and the junior ruling Christian Democrats. “We’re now paying the price for the botched decision by the lawmakers of the ruling parties,” László Varga said, proposing that the compensations should be financed from state funds paid to the ruling parties.
The leftist Democratic Coalition (DK) said the proposal would “put convicts back out on the street and into society”, insisting that there was “a possibility that the ruling parties only want to release their own criminals”. Ágnes Vadai wanted to know the basis on which inmates would be selected for release if that was how the government chose to resolve the situation.
Green LMP accused the government of “trying to build propaganda on a situation they themselves created”. László Lóránt Keresztes asked the government representatives why the government had not addressed the problem of prison overcrowding in recent years and built more prisons.
The radical nationalist Mi Hazánk (Our Homeland) party proposed withdrawing Hungary from the ECtHR’s jurisdiction as the only way to halt the “prison compensation business”. At a press conference Dóra Dúró, the party’s deputy leader, accused the court of curbing Hungary’s sovereignty and defending convicts.