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Top Hungarian Diplomat Slams European Parliament for Politicizing Rule-of-Law Row

© Photo : Andrew ShivaHungarian Parliament Building, Budapest, Hungary
Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest, Hungary - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.11.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto accused the European Parliament and EU critics of the conservative Hungarian government on Saturday of using the rule-of-law row to settle political scores.
"Currently, there are political perceptions against Hungary because there is a conservative, Christian-Democrat government in place for the last 12 years and, on top of that, we are successful," he told French media.
The European Commission proposed in September that the Council of the EU freeze 7.5 billion euro ($7.8 billion) in EU budget funding for Hungary, citing corruption, after the EU executive triggered the rule-of-law conditionality mechanism against it in April.
The European Parliament voted 416-124 on Thursday in favor of keeping the freeze on, arguing that 17 remedial actions agreed by Brussels and Budapest were not sufficient to address "the existing risks to the EU’s financial interests," even if implemented fully. The Council has until December 19 to make a decision.
Szijjarto insisted that the parliament had no say in the matter and accused the leftist-majority legislature of being a "political body making political judgments."
He also criticized western European critics of Prime Minister Viktor Orban of showing "a big and shameful disrespect toward the Hungarian people," who had chosen the conservative Fidesz party to lead their country.
"They hate us because we are going against the mainstream and still we are successful… The governments of these countries always speak about democracy. Then, respect democracy," he said.
The foreign minister again rejected accusations of systematic corruption against Hungary, arguing that widespread corruption would not have allowed a national economy to grow. He also added that "our GDP has been growing by an amount that is well above the European average."
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