By: V4 Agency
While Brussels is increasing pressure on Central Europe, its own situation is approaching breaking point, so it needs to seriously rethink its approach to our region, Gergely Gulyas, the Hungarian prime minister’s office chief told the Polish conservative Sieci newspaper in a recent interview.
Gergely Gulyas pointed out that Poland and Hungary have borne the brunt of attacks by EU institutions, adding that more recently Slovenia and Austria were also on the receiving end.
“The problem of Brussels bureaucrats is their inability to tolerate otherness,” he said, adding that in this sense, today Brussels is “the capital of illiberalism”.
Theoretically, the European Commission is “the guardian of the treaties”, but in practice, “the level of interference in Hungary’s internal affairs is unprecedented,” Mr Gulyas said, adding that Brussels does not acknowledge that “this part of Europe is different from Western countries”, and ” they prefer risking the EU’s stability to adopting a flexible stance”.
He believes that by “not being able to tolerate even the slightest difference of opinion” Brussels applies “the principle well known to us from the times of the Soviet Union that law is subservient to politics”.
Referring to the EU funds given to Central European member states, Gergely Gulyas emphasized that this is not charity; the amount of these funds pales in comparison to what Germany makes with access to the euro zone and the EU’s common market. “We had opened our markets, although we were very weak in terms of capital, and the West took advantage of that,” he said, quoting former EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger, who said that 70 cents of every euro sent to the East goes back to the West.
The minister said there was no reason for them “to handle the funds as a moral gesture”; and in terms of historical categories “we do not owe them anything; quite the opposite.”
Commenting on Hungarian legislation on the protection of children, Mr Gulyas agreed with interviewer Jacek Karnowski’s suggestion that it had provoked even fiercer anger from Brussels than the issue of migration, because it involved a “taboo subject.”
“A lot of groups and minorities are getting protection in Europe, with one exception: the nations that have lived here for centuries,” the minister added.
Brussels, he said, was hugely influenced by NGOs that “focus solely on and live from” LGBTQ issues and that try to make a popular trend out of something that belongs to people’s private life. “We believe, however, that the protection of children is a task of the state.” Adults, on the other hand, are free to live as they wish, he said.
In response to a question concerning whether the child protection law should be watered down following Western criticism, he said: “The greatest mistake we could commit in politics is yielding to pressure when we are certain that we are right.” Instead of reversing on the issue, we should press ahead, which is why a referendum will be held in Hungary on the subject, he added.
Commenting on the continuation of Hungary’s family support policies, he said that consistency, stability and predictability were most important. “In this respect, it is vital that ruling Fidesz should remain in government,” he said. “As a result of this, citizens take the extensive family support system seriously, as something that is certain and will not be withdrawn the next day. We provide tax reliefs, financial support and help with buying a home,” Mr Gulyas pointed out.