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Roth: Germany “Concerned” But Rules Out “Sanctions”

Tamás Székely 2014.10.28.

“It’s not my chancellor’s or my foreign minister’s job” to sanction Hungary. It’s not in our national interest”, deputy foreign minister of Germany, Michael Roth said in Budapest, has reported. Answering a question, he confirmed that Germany won’t back political or economic “sanctions” over the erosion of democracy in Hungary.

That Federal Government in Berlin supports “a political mechanism” in the European Union, short of suspending Hungary’s voting rights in the bloc or tying grants to the eastern European country to meeting democratic norms, Roth said at Central European University on Monday. Germany, Hungary’s biggest trading partner with about a quarter share in both exports and imports last year, is “concerned” as EU values are “under strain” in the country, Roth said. The bloc needs to create a “political mechanism” that’s “non-discriminatory” and sets out “objective standards” for all members, he said. “The biggest pressure is always public debate,” the deputy minister said.

Michael Roth visited the Central European University (CEU) of Budapest in order to give a lecture titled “Strengthening Democracy and Open Societies in Europe.” Roth’s lecture was part of a series organised by the School of Public Policy of CEU. The hosts invited him because Roth “as minister of state for Europe, focuses his work on Germany’s relations with its European partners as well as strengthening the EU.” Moreover, he strongly supports the European fundamental values initiative.

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