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Reynders: No positive developments concerning rule of law in Hungary

Hidveghi: EP wants to blackmail, not seek consensus

The European Parliament does not seek consensus with Hungary but wants to blackmail the country because it is unable to accept the Hungarian people's decision, ruling Fidesz MEP Balazs Hidveghi said on Wednesday. At the elections this spring, Hungarians said no to the left-wing and lecturing by Brussels, and voted for the fourth time on a right-wing, civic-conservative government, he said.

Hidveghi said during a debate at the EP plenary on the report dubbed Existence of a clear risk of a serious breach by Hungary of the values on which the Union is founded that it was shameful and unforgiveable that a significant part of the EP including Hungarian left-wing MEPs was attacking the country with lies even during a crisis situation caused by the war in Ukraine and pursue a campaign of false accusations against Hungary.

The MEP said the EP was preparing to adopt a report condemning Hungary “under an order by the Hungarian Left”, including a proposal that EU funds should not be paid out to Hungary. The EP should drop its “political whitch-hunt against Hungary” and find answers to the problems of “sky-rocketing electricity and gas bills, failing businesses, an impending employment crisis and uncertainty”, Hidveghi insisted.

“We will continue protecting our children and our borders and it will be us who decide about our future,” he said.

Reynders: No positive developments concerning rule of law in Hungary

The European Commission has seen no positive developments regarding the state of the rule of law in Hungary, Didier Reynders, the European Commissioner for Justice, told a plenary session of the European parliament on Wednesday.

Speaking at a debate entitled “Existence of a clear risk of a serious breach by Hungary of the values on which the Union is founded”, Reynders said the EC agreed with most concerns voiced by the European parliament on the matter, and will use all tools at its disposal to protect the shared values of the EU.

Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, MEP of the Greens and rapporteur on the rule of law in Hungary, said Hungary “cannot be considered a full democracy”. Since the European Parliament invoked an Article 7 procedure against Hungary in 2018, the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights in Hungary have further deteriorated, the report said.

Socialist MEP: ‘Lie’ that sanctions causing Hungary’s woes

The argument that EU sanctions against Russia are at the root of the current woes in Hungarian society is a “lie”, Socialist MEP Istvan Ujhelyi told Hungarian journalists in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

During a break of the plenary session of the European Parliament, Ujhelyi said Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Russian President Vladimir Putin were conniving together in “a spiral of lies” concerning energy and food prices as well as the war in Ukraine.

He dismissed the Hungarian government’s insistence that EU sanctions were behind Europe’s current hardships, and he cited the EU’s reluctance to hand over funding to Hungary due to its concerns over the rule of law in the country and inflation as the real reason for current suffering.

Ujhelyi argued that if Hungary were to lose a single euro cent of funding, Viktor Orban and his government would bear responsibility.

It is not the fault of either the Hungarian opposition or the EU that the government “is abusing its power” and undermining the rule of law, he said.

Ruling Fidesz MEP Tamas Deutsch said Ujhelyi’s remarks showed that he refused to face reality. When the sanctions were approved in the summer, the European Commission promised that they would bring Russia to its knees and the sanctions would bring an end to the war, Deutsch said. Compared to that, ever since the sanctions were introduced, inflation has soared, Europeans have become poorer and Russians have become richer, with Europe threatened by a crisis and energy shortage, he added. Ujhelyi’s remarks show that Hungary’s left-wing sides with the sanctions and not with the Hungarian people who suffer from them, he added.

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