Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: MTI

Szijjarto: Article 7 procedure political blackmail against Hungary

The procedure launched against Hungary under Article 7 of the EU Treaty has nothing to do with facts; it is rather meant to be applied as a means of political blackmail, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in a meeting of his European Union counterparts in Luxembourg on Monday.

Szijjarto spoke before the hearings the EU General Affairs Council is set to hold on Tuesday, as part of the procedure, on the rule-of-law situation in Poland and the enforcement of EU values in Hungary.

“The way and the length of the procedure expose those who are conducting it. The procedure itself is a tool of political blackmail because if anyone had wanted to hold a debate on the facts, it would have long been over,” Szijjarto told Hungarian reporters during a break of the meeting.

Hungary has given an answer to all questions that have ever been put up which means that the procedure could be concluded right away, the minister said. There should be a vote about the issue and its outcome will set the further course of events, he added.

“They will obviously be unable to win the vote because it requires unanimity and all the 27 member states would not condemn Hungary,” he said.

There is an obvious link between the procedure and Hungary’s parliamentary elections set for next spring, with the liberal mainstream trying to influence the outcome of the vote, Szijjarto said.

This will neither be the first attempt, nor the last one to influence it, he added.

Asked about Hungary’s recent law against paedophiles that the General Affairs Council might also discuss on Tuesday, Szijjarto said, “Should Brussels bureaucrats or western European politicians tell us if we can protect our children? No way.”

Protecting Hungarian children is the right and responsibility of Hungary’s lawmakers, he said, adding that parliament should grant families and parents the exclusive right to decide how to raise children.

Szijjarto against ‘mixing’ sports, politics

“Mixing sports with politics is extremely harmful and dangerous,” Szijjarto said in connection with German plans to illuminate in the rainbow colours the stadium in Munich where the national elevens of Germany and Hungary would play a match in the European football championship on June 23.

The rainbow initiative, supported by the city of Munich and Bavaria’s minister-president, is aimed at expressing support for tolerance and equal treatment.

Szijjarto insisted that “demands” for the rainbow colours clearly indicated a political intent because “everybody knows what it is all about”. “We in Hungary have adopted a law to protect Hungarian children and it is now being protested in Western Europe,” he said.

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