Conservative opposition Jobbik is turning to the European Commission over the asylum case of former Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski. LMP called for a special joint session of parliament’s defence and foreign affairs committees over the case. Opposition Democratic Coalition MEP Péter Niedermüller has submitted questions to European People’s Party group leader Manfred Weber. The Interior Minister said the immigration and asylum office “did not make any mistake.”
Jobbik deputy leader Márton Gyöngyösi said his party wanted to know whether the EC has examined how the principles of the rule of law are applied in Macedonia’s justice and legal systems. If Macedonia “passes the test”, the Hungarian authorities will have no choice but to extradite Gruevski. But if the EC has not looked into the state of the rule of law in Macedonia, Jobbik expects it to.
Gyöngyösi said the Gruevski affair raised “countless questions” about the Hungarian government’s former dealings with the Macedonian ex-premier, whom he called “the originator and primary user of the ‘Stop Soros’ campaigns”. He said Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó had even addressed one of Gruevski’s campaign events.
He said it was “no accident” that Viktor Orbán’s government “has granted asylum to Mr. Gruevski on the grounds that the former prime minister was fleeing the revenge of Soros”.
Gyöngyösi said that up until now, only “banana republics and dictatorships were known to take in failed leaders”.
It is without precedent that a European Union member state should do this with the former politician of a candidate country.”
Ádám Mirkóczki, head of parliament’s national security committee, said the government’s communication concerning the affair was “not only chaotic, but riddled with contradictions, lies and all about running from relevant questions” and the government had “misled” the national security committee, arguing that the foreign ministry had told him that neither it, nor the intelligence community had any information on the Gruevski affair.
He said that contrary to the government’s communication, the decision to grant Gruevski asylum was a political, rather than a legal decision.
LMP calls for joint parlt cttee hearing over Gruevski affair
Márta Demeter, co-leader of opposition LMP, on Wednesday called for a special joint session of parliament’s defence and foreign affairs committees over the case of former Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski.
Demeter, who heads the defence and law enforcement committee, said in a statement that she was calling for the committees to hear Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, József Czukor, the head of the National Information Office, and Zsuzsanna Végh, director-general of the immigration and asylum office regarding the Gruevski affair.
It has become clear from the statements made by government officials and investigative media reports that Hungarian foreign offices and personnel posted abroad played an active role in the process that led to former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who has been sentenced to prison in his country, entering Hungary and being granted asylum in a remarkably quick procedure.”
Gruevski held office between 2006 and 2016. An arrest warrant was issued last week after he failed to start a two-year prison sentence for corruption.
DK asks EPP about Gruevski affair
Opposition Democratic Coalition MEP Péter Niedermüller has submitted questions to European People’s Party group leader Manfred Weber concerning the case of former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.
Has the Hungarian government acted in keeping with the law when Gruevski, convicted on corruption charges, was granted asylum, Niedermüller asked Weber. Has the Hungarian government acted in the interest of European security “when it provided a car with a diplomatic licence plate and a one-off entry permit” to help Gruevski’s entry in the European Union, he added.
If the EPP keeps Hungary’s Fidesz among its members in order to acquire a majority at next year’s European Parliamentary elections, it will be “clear that it has no political morals, only pseudo-principles”, Niedermüller said.
Interior minister: Authority ‘made no mistake’ in Gruevski procedure
The immigration and asylum office “did not make any mistake” and the information it provided concerning the asylum case of former Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski was “precise, professional and legitimate”, the interior minister told the press on Wednesday.
Speaking after a meeting of parliament’s national security committee, Sándor Pintér said that “the office never discloses details about such procedures” and added that such information could only be provided to the United Nations. He also added that the applicant is not bound by rules of secrecy and is free to disclose any details. “This might explain what has been published in the press,” he said. Gruevski announced on his Facebook page on Tuesday that he had been granted asylum in Hungary, but pro-government Magyar Idők announced it even earlier, not long after the Immigration and Asylum Office informed the National Security Committee of the Parliament and Hungarian MPs that the asylum process would be lengthy.
János Halász, deputy head of the committee delegated by ruling Fidesz, said that
Gruevski is persecuted by a Socialist government backed by [US financier George] Soros.”
The Fidesz MP insisted that “the opposition has created a political case” around Gruevski’s asylum request. He said that “while migration is on the increase across the Balkans … opposition politicians were only asking questions about the Gruevski affair”.