Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Friday sent a response to recent remarks by Manfred Weber, group leader of the European People’s Party, concerning the EU’s planned rule of law mechanism.
“The situation is clear, dear Manfred: You want to alter the current legal status in order to create a mechanism that you immediately turn against Hungary and Poland. In light of the statements by the European Commission, European Parliament and national governments, you can no longer deny this. Now, you want us, Hungarians to give our consent,” the prime minister said. Orbán added:
Over the course of history, Germans have asked for many things from us, Hungarians. Yet, you are the first ones to consider us Panscher. That we are not.
Orbán quoted Weber as saying on Thursday that the mechanism was designed to separate the issues of the rule of law from partisan disputes rather than aimed against Hungary or Poland, but said that “the truth is just the opposite” and added that it was reflected in the remarks of European politicians.
The prime minister mentioned, for example, Commissioner Vera Jourova, who had referred to him as “building a sick democracy”, Didier Reynders, who said that Hungary and Poland had “rule of law crises”, and Frans Timmermans, who said that a free press was “virtually non-existent” in Hungary.
Orbán quoted Helena Dalli as saying that the mechanism is a “means to make Member States fall in line”, as well as EP Vice-President Katarina Barley, who suggested that Hungary and Poland should be “starved out”. He also mentioned German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who said that the mechanism would be “very painful” for the two countries, and Jean Asselborn, the foreign minister of Luxembourg, who had referred to Hungary’s system as a “dictatorship like Belarus” and said that “this cancerous tumor must be removed”.
The prime minister suggested that “the mainstream, European media excludes, neglects and suppresses those ideas that do not conform to the worldview for which they labor day in and day out. They will remain silent about this, too. That’s nothing new, however, to us Central Europeans. In fact, this is why we invented samizdat. The clandestine press. Write, print, read, share! Samizdat: about us, for us.”
featured photo: illustration, Viktor Orbán at an EPP assembly back in 2016. (Balázs Szecsődi/MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda)