Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: MTI

Szijjarto: EPP pursuing ‘witch hunt’ against Fidesz

The European People's Party is "pursuing a witch hunt" against Hungary's ruling Fidesz party, its "most successful member", Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said. At a press conference held on an unrelated topic, Szijjarto called it "strange" that the EPP had withdrawn some rights from "one of its best-performing MEPs", Fidesz delegate Tamas Deutsch.

The minister insisted that if other parties of the EPP family had done “as well as Fidesz did” in the latest European election, “they would now be a much stronger group and could do without support from the Greens and Socialists”. Further, they would not need to “deviate from the values the EPP used to represent when Fidesz first joined”.

Szijjarto said that while the head of the EPP had “made a comparison between an arch Nazi ideologist and the Hungarian prime minister”, and while the Hungarian government had had false charges of anti-Semitism and dictatorship “for the past ten years” thrown at it, when the EPP was faced with “an unpleasant remark” they instantly “take offence and throw a temper tantrum”.

The minister called for double standards to be set aside and for the restoration of a “culture of mutual respect”.

Asked about the Hungarian minority in Ukraine, Szijjarto said he regretted that “Ukraine’s government policy still focuses on putting pressure on the Hungarian community” while the Ukrainian authorities “intimidate and humiliate ethnic Hungarians through means evocative of the darkest Soviet times.” “This behaviour makes Ukraine ineligible for progress in its European and Euro-Atlantic integration,” he said.

Ukraine’s stripping Hungarians of their rights is unacceptable, he said, adding that tolerating lists of “Ukraine’s enemies” such as one drawn up by nationalist organisation Mirotvorets — which now includes Hungarian leader Laszlo Brenzovics — was also unacceptable.

Meanwhile, Szijjarto criticised international organisations for their “hypocritical and shocking” stance of “overlooking what is happening to ethnic communities in Ukraine, including Hungarians.”

Hungary is not planning to lift its veto of Ukraine’s NATO integration “even under pressure from NATO foreign ministers”, Szijjarto said. “They should show solidarity and help terminate this intolerable situation in Ukraine, and then Hungary will talk about assistance to that country,” he said.

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