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Hungary's controversial child benefits on show

Meloni is one of the speakers this time

14 September, 12:05

(ANSA-AFP) - BUDAPEST, SEP 14 - As the cheerful noise of little children slowly fills the Jatekvar Bolcsode nursery in Budapest's city centre, Istvan Zsupan, a 35-year-old entrepreneur, drops off Anna, the youngest of his three children. Zsupan's family is one of many who benefit from an array of government support introduced under conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban to incentivise couples to have children.
    "We have used everything offered by the government, apart from the car-purchase programme," Zsupan told AFP while he helped Anna, 2.5, get changed near a room filled with colourful toys.
    "It's a huge help," he said, adding the family had received government assistance of at least 70,000 euros ($75,000). Touted as Hungarian model, the policies are once again in focus at Thursday's bi-annual Budapest Demographic Summit, where Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is one of the speakers this time.
    Drawing interest from conservative and far-right politicians and prominent figures, such as US tech billionaire Elon Musk, critics say however, the policies have fuelled inequality and discrimination. (ANSA-AFP).

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