Yesterday in Parliament, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán faced uncomfortable questions from opposition MPs regarding the Gruevski case.
Socialist Member of Parliament Tamás Harangozó began his questioning of PM Orbán by mentioning a recent survey showing that Hungarians are surprised, angry and disappointed with how the government has chosen to handle the Gruevski case. Harangozó also brought up the theory which claims Moscow ordered the staff of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry to rescue Gruevski and offer him asylum and questioned whether Orbán knew about the “operations.” He expressed interest in whether Hungary still considers Macedonia an ally and wondered if Hungary would continue to champion the country’s candidacy for NATO and EU membership.
In response, Orbán claimed that Hungarian authorities acted lawfully and confirmed that Hungary still views Macedonia as an ally and will continue to support its NATO and EU aspirations. He said his government is grateful to Macedonia for the role its played in stopping illegal migration in the past.
He also declared that the Gruevski case is part of a bigger political game being played in Macedonia—one which Hungary doesn’t want to be involved in. The country, and the Hungarian asylum system, merely “provided a decent process for the prosecuted.”
Harangozó argued that it is inaccurate to say the government did not intervene. Just the act of giving Gruevski asylum was intervening, he said. Harangozó also drew attention to the Hungarian decision to accept Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro as safe countries. This means that Hungarian authorities should have investigated whether these countries pose a threat to Gruevski, and if they did not, then Gruevski should have returned to one of them.
Ágnes Vadai of the Democratic Coalition (DK) also interrogated the PM about the case. “Orbán is a human trafficker. Being a smuggler and a Prime Minister is a unique position in Europe,” she said. MP András Arató mocked Orbán during the plenary session, saying he should be paid the migration tax for bringing Guverski to Hungary. The tax package introduced by the Parliament in June contains special levies imposed on non-governmental organizations that “portray immigration in a positive light” and help foreigners enter Hungary illegally.
Orbán refused the allegations and insisted that all involved Hungarian institutions acted according to the law.
“Terrorists, thieves, and Azerbaijan ax murderers, why do you associate with these people? Do you want to live with them in the same country?” Párbeszéd MP Tímea Szabó asked. Szabó was referring to allegations against the government’s residency bond program and the case of Ramil Safarov, a murderer sentenced to life in prison whom, after his request under the Strasbourg Convention, was extradited on August 31, 2012, to Azerbaijan, where he was greeted as a hero. “I am confused now: sometimes you have a problem with people entering the country, and sometimes you have a problem with them going home,” the PM replied.