This clip of Guy Verhofstadt saying Europe needs migration has been taken out of context in a Hungarian government video
A video shared by the Hungarian government says European parliamentarian Guy Verhofstadt is calling for more migration to Europe. But the short clip from a four-year-old video is taken out of context, as a quick video analysis shows.
An English-language video shared on Twitter by Hungary’s government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs says Belgian MEP Verhofstadt is calling for more migration.
The video includes dramatic music and a voiceover with an American accent saying:
A quick check with the INVID plugin, a tool to help verify videos and still images, finds a link to the original video, which had been posted in comments below.
In the original, posted four years ago on Vimeo, Verhofstadt says:
INVID enabled us to break the video into single frames and search on the Google and Yandex search engines to see where else the video had appeared.
One frame, with the out-of-context subtitle “we need migration”, had been shared numerous times in Hungary and also Finland.
The Hungarian video was also posted on an official website, with the following text to introduce it:
“We do not want to become an immigrant country. That’s why the government has released this English-language internet video in response to the affronts to our country.”
Guy Verhofstadt later tweeted the Hungarian video, including a link to the original.
The video was in a similar style and format to others that have accompanied questionnaires put to the Hungarian public by the government since the 2015 migration crisis.
Those videos, in Hungarian, have variously attacked US billionaire George Soros, the EU, and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for allegedly supporting immigration.
Human rights NGO the Hungarian Helsinki Committee has successfully sued the government for defamation over false statements in one of the questionnaire campaigns. The government has appealed that verdict at the Hungarian Supreme Court.
The Hungarian-born Soros said last year that a government video and billboard campaign that claimed he wanted to settle migrants in Hungary contained “distortions and outright lies that deliberately mislead Hungarians”.