Gergely Gulyas – Photo: MTI

Gulyas calls for ‘no war, no gender, no migration’

Gergely Gulyas, the head of the Prime Minister's Office, highlighted the idea behind the motto "no war, no gender, no migration" as the top issue in next year's European Parliament elections, in a debate with Peter Marki-Zay, leader of the Everybody's Hungary Movement, on Friday.

Gulyas and Marki-Zay also discussed the issues of migration, the war in Ukraine, Hungary’s energy dependence, utility prices, party financing and child protection at the Tranzit Festival in Tihany, at Lake Balaton.

Gulyas said ruling Fidesz stood a good chance of winning the European Parliament elections in Hungary, adding, however, that the party “has been in opposition for some time within the European Union”.

Fidesz at times will have more allies, and sometimes more, but the right has not had a majority in Europe since 2010, he said.

He said the EP was the “most toxic and most corrupt” EU institution, insisting it was using its power to violate the EU’s basic treaties, go against Europe’s most fundamental values and “do everything to leave no room for Christian Democratic-Conservative thought in Europe”.

Gulyas insisted that the rejection of gender ideology, issues around peace, stopping migration and the problem of corruption remained the biggest challenges for Europe.

Gulyas said the EP was “in the forefront of European institutions promoting migration”, adding that “if Europe wants to retain the achievements of Schengen, it must protect its external borders”.

Marki-Zay said his movement was committed to Christian-Conservative values, adding that they would run in the EP elections on their own, with aspirations to become a member of the European People’s Party.

Marki-Zay agreed with Gulyas that Hungary and the EU both needed to tackle illegal migration, adding that people smugglers should not be released. As regards the fight against corruption, he said Hungary needed to join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Asked about the war in Ukraine, Gulyas said peace, an immediate ceasefire and peace talks were needed, vowing that Hungary would continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.

Marki-Zay said there was room for improvement when it came to the representation of Transcarpathian Hungarians, adding that Hungary needed to “speak out against genocide and the bombing of hospitals and nuclear power plants”. He also underlined the importance of reaching a ceasefire.

On the topic of energy, Gulyas said Hungary could push for energy independence by keeping the option of importing Russian energy open. Marki-Zay, however, said Hungary was “the least successful country” in terms of energy independence, arguing that it was buying Russian energy at the highest prices.

Gulyas said Hungarian-Russian energy cooperation was mainly determined by global market prices.

They also debated Hungary’s procurement of coronavirus vaccines, with Marki-Zay criticising the government over the high procurement prices. Gulyas said the determining factor had been how fast the vaccines could be delivered to Hungary, adding that quicker deliveries helped save lives.

Concerning the opposition’s foreign campaign donations, Marki-Zay said his party would follow all party financing regulations in the EP election campaign.

Gulyas said the government had approved campaign financing rules that had allowed Marki-Zay’s movement to obtain state support despite it having become public knowledge that it was not Hungarians living abroad who had donated to the united opposition.

This must be stopped and investigated in order to prevent “bought politicians” from coming to power “through foreign influence”, he added.

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