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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

“We will never accept European funds to become a matter of blackmailing other countries”

by V4 Agency

If the liberal mainstream likes you, then you are set to fulfil the rule of law preconditions. If the liberal mainstream doesn’t like you, then you are not set to be fulfilling the rule of law conditions. This is so simple, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said to V4NA, and also talked about Hungary’s procurement of vaccines and the recovery of the economy.

“We are negotiating with all possible partners, from whom there’s a chance to be able to buy the vaccine. We absolutely don’t make a political question out of this issue. This is about the lives of the Hungarian people, which we do have to save. So, it doesn’t matter which source the vaccine comes from,” the Hungarian FM told V4NA. He added that Hungary is involved in a European project and is negotiating with the Russians and also with the Chinese.

“For now, the most important thing is to be diversified, to be able to buy as many vaccines from as many safe resources as it is possible, and not to allow this thing to go political,” Mr Szijjarto explained, adding that they are expecting 10 doses of vaccine next week from Russia, which will enable them to start running the laboratory tests.

Regarding the management of the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus epidemic, the minister said that the Hungarian government has a dual goal.

“First, of course, we must save the lives and the healthcare situation of the people, but on the other hand we must also maintain the operability of the economy; to keep the country up and running.”

In order to maintain the viability of the country, the government has decided to allocate an additional half a billion euros to boost further investments in the country. The government is paying a third of the total volume of the investment for the companies in case they maintain their headcount with that given investment.

“So, instead of financing unemployment, we continue to finance the fight against unemployment. So, instead of financing unemployment, finance the fight against unemployment is on the agenda, and we will continue with that,” Mr Szijjarto said. He also emphasized that the most important thing is helping those companies to invest that commit themselves not to make layoffs.

The minister said that they had been negotiating with some international companies on major investments, mostly coming from the East.

“Just this week, we were able to announce a major 65-billion-forint investment [more than 180 million euros] involving a Chinese automotive parts company,” he said, stressing that they are going to continue with such negotiations, as “we understand that the more important thing is still the investments: the more investments come to Hungary, the more jobs we can save.”

This week Hungary has reintroduced the special legal order to speed up action against coronavirus. In the spring, when the Hungarian government was granted special powers, Hungary received heavy criticism. In the FM’s opinion, something similar can be expected this time as well.

“It doesn’t matter what we do, there are always attacks against us. It’s never about the concrete measures, it’s about our general approach. The Hungarian government is a patriotic government, based on Christian democratic values with a very strong anti-migration policy and still successful. And this is the reason why the liberal mainstream cannot digest what we are doing, and regardless of the concrete measures, regardless of the concrete proposals, they always attack us. But these attacks are based on these political issues, for the liberal mainstream it is simply indigestible what we have been doing. We do not want to satisfy the liberal mainstream, but we want to satisfy the Hungarian people. So that’s why it doesn’t matter what they say about us.”

In connection with the discussions within the EU regarding the tying of EU funds to the rule of law, the Hungarian Foreign Minister stated: “using European funds for blackmailing is simply unacceptable.”

Mr Szijjarto made it clear that when Hungary had joined the European Union, it had taken clear obligations, which were all fulfilled.

“So now we contribute to the economic success and the economic performance of the European Union. Hungarian people contribute to the economic performance of the European Union, so this money is partly ours, partly the money of Hungarians. So it’s not the matter of the generosity of the Western European friends of ours, these are not humanitarian donations on a voluntary basis,” he added.

The FM highlighted that “when it comes to the rule of law we understand that it is not an objective criteria. If the liberal mainstream likes you, then you are set to fulfil the rule of law preconditions. If the liberal mainstream doesn’t like you, then you are not set to be fulfilling the rule of law conditions. This is so simple. So that’s why we will never accept European funds will become a matter of blackmailing other countries.”

In addition, there is no exact definition of the rule of law concept, the minister said.

“That is why it is so concerning that anyone would like to use it as a leverage, or as a matter of blackmailing, because so far what we understand was the following: if the liberal side wins in a country, then the liberal mainstream considers that political structure as democratic. If it is not the liberals to win or rule the country, than the liberal mainstream considers that political structure undemocratic. So, this doesn’t make sense, and this is something that we would never accept… especially we would not accept attaching the issue of using European funds to this kind of way of thinking,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in his interview with V4NA.

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