Government spokesman: Europe ‘double-dealing’

"Double-dealing" has been going on in Europe ever since the migration crisis emerged in 2015, Hungary's state secretary for communications and international relations told public broadcaster Kossuth Radio in an interview on Sunday.

Commenting on the current stand-off over the EU budget and recovery fund, Zoltan Kovacs said the European parliament, commission and current holder of the EU presidency, Germany, were responsible for “the new situation”, not Hungary or Poland, adding that it was therefore the EU institutions that should “come up with a solution”.

Hungary and Poland stated their positions unambiguously during the July EU summit, and their positions have not changed since, Kovacs said, noting that the Hungarian prime minister had negotiated based on a mandate handed to him by Hungary’s parliament.

The EP and commission then put forward the proposal on linking funding to rule-of-law criteria which, he insisted, had “nothing to do with” the rule of law.

“It’s about nothing other than enforcing a set of political conditions,” Kovacs said.

Rules governing the allocation of EU funds are clearly defined in the EU basic treaty with no connection to any kind of political criteria, he said, adding that Hungary would reject any proposal with political conditions attached, otherwise the EU basic treaty would be contravened.

Commenting on recent criticism by EPP group leader Manfred Weber, Kovacs said EU commissioners Vera Jourova, Didier Reynders and Frans Timmermans had “clearly picked on Hungary and Poland” over the past years.

“This is about the systematic execution of a plan masterminded not only by Eurocrats … who believe in a United States of Europe … but also by [financier] George Soros who has publically declared how Europe should receive and support migrants while arguing for sanctions against countries that refuse to take them in,” he said.

“We’ll resist this because we know exactly what’s at stake in the upcoming debate,” the state secretary said.

Kovacs said that instead of protecting Europe’s borders, EU institutions had been doing all they could to keep the community’s borders open for migrants.

“Europe still lacks a plan for protecting its borders, instead proposing taking over immigration matters that are the competence of member states,” he said.

“As if this weren’t enough, Brussels has launched several infringement procedures against Hungary in recent weeks, and over the past months and years,” he said, noting that the most recent one raises concern over the perpetual extension of migration-related rules.

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