Hungary Debated In Strasbourg

  • 22 Oct 2014 9:00 AM
Hungary Debated In Strasbourg
Ahead of a European parliamentary debate on the situation in Hungary concerning democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, held at the initiative of the EP’s liberal group, Hungarian left-wing opposition MEPs briefed Hungarian journalists on Tuesday evening.

István Ujhelyi, head of the Hungarian delegation to the Social Democratic group, accused the government of Viktor Orbán of “plundering and impoverishing Hungary” and bringing Hungary’s reputation in Europe and the United States to an all-time low.

Csaba Molnár, the MEP of the Democratic Coalition, who also belongs to the Social Democratic group, referred to reports that the United States has banned certain Hungarian officials from entering the United States for suspected corruption, saying that the US “sees that corruption has brutally taken hold in Hungary”.

Benedek Jávor, the MEP for Dialogue for Hungary, who belongs to the Green group, said he primarily wanted to highlight the Hungarian authorities’ harassing of the civil sector and “the corruption affairs of the Orbán administration”. He insisted that steps taken against the civil sector which “is not directly connected to [ruling party] Fidesz ... pre-empts a state apparatus which shows likenesses to Putin’s Russia.”

Speaking in connection with the American ban on certain Hungarian officials, he said it was a “question as to whether the European Commission will idly stand by while the money of European taxpayers is disbursed according to a system that has prompted the US to take such administrative steps.”

Tamás Deutsch, the MEP for Fidesz in the EPP group, told Hungarian journalists that Hungary is a strong and stable democracy. “Naturally it is not a perfect democracy, just as in the European Union there are 28 imperfect democracies.”

He suggested that the real reason that the left-wing had prompted the debate in Strasbourg was connected with their having suffered their third heavy electoral loss this year.

“It appears that they are incapable of learning ... in the last few years they have turned to European alliances with various lies, falsehoods, and disingenuous assertions to the European Parliament,” he said, adding that he was convinced that the current attempt, as in the past, would not end in success for the left.

The European Parliament’s debate on Hungarian democracy on Tuesday evening and a public forum initiated by opposition Democratic Coalition on the Hungarian media a day earlier constitute continued attacks against Hungary, the head of parliament’s European affairs committee said.

Earlier in the day Richárd Hörcsik of the ruling Fidesz party told a press conference that the leftwing in Hungary are making yet another attempt to prevent the successful appointment of Hungary’s commissioner candidate Tibor Navracsics.

This method used by the Hungarian left is alien to the EP and weakens the representation of national interests, he added.

The European liberals and Socialists have been urged by the Hungarian left-wing parties to again deal with Hungary in front of the EP plenary, Hörcsik said.


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