- 19 Nov 2018 1:02 PM
- Hungary Matters
The circumstances of Gruevski’s arrival in Hungary have not been properly clarified since the affair came to light five days ago, Richárd Barabás told a press conference held in front of the foreign ministry.
He said it was unclear “why the Hungarian government helped Gruevski flee” his home country and has stopped short of extraditing the Macedonian politician to his home country so that he may start his prison term in line with domestic and international law.
Under a 1969 decree, Hungary must extradite Gruevski, who is wanted on an international warrant, to Macedonia since he entered the country without a passport, said Barabás.
Responsibility lies with the government, including the prime minister and the head of his office, he said. But it is the foreign minister who should resign since, according to press reports, members of Hungarian embassies in Tirana and Montenegro assisted Gruevski and were “actively involved in brining Gruevski to Hungary”, he added.
The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said it plans to file a criminal complaint against the Hungarian prime minister for people smuggling and promotion of illegal border crossing. DK deputy leader Csaba Molnár told a press conference on Friday that Viktor Orbán’s government “has been lying” about the circumstances of Gruevski’s flight to Hungary and pointed to Albanian press reports that Gruevski had left Albania in a car belonging to the Hungarian embassy in Tirana.
“The government is not only hiding a convicted criminal but has helped him illegally cross the border,” Molnar insisted, demanding that the government disclose details of “smuggling the criminal into Hungary” and proposed that parliament should have the affair on its agenda next Monday.
In response, ruling Fidesz called it natural that the Hungarian authorities made it possible for a people’s party politician threatened and persecuted by a left-wing government backed by George Soros to apply for asylum in Hungary.
“In some other Socialist-led EU countries, such as Malta, journalists are being murdered” while in other countries “Socialist governments are threatening their predecessors,” Fidesz said in a statement.
In line with Hungary’s “unbroken legal practice”, all those that are “in fact persecuted” in their homeland are granted asylum. The Hungarian authorities are still assessing Gruevski’s application and have still to make a decision, Fidesz said.
Gruevski held office between 2006 and 2016. An arrest warrant was issued earlier this week after he failed to start a two-year prison sentence for corruption. He announced on his Facebook page on Tuesday that he was in Budapest and had asked the Hungarian authorities for political asylum.
MTI Photo: KKM