According to State Secretary for International Communications and Relations Zoltán Kovács, the police response to the protests that have been held in the country since last Wednesday evening have been extremely subdued compared to the fact that Members of Parliament and political activists have attacked police and public institutions.

In a telephone statement to Hungarian news agency on Wednesday, Mr. Kovács, who is currently in Paris, said he and Minister of State for EU Affairs Szabolcs Takács from the Prime Mister’s Office had held a background discussion for reporters and spoken about the context of the events in Hungary in recent days. According to the State Secretary, the western media has attempted to portrays the protests, which are “obviously being orchestrated by opposition MPs and political activists” as if “something completely different were happening in the country”.

They explained that this is a political drive, behind which is not only the opposition, but also activists and non-governmental organisation that are “clearly linked to the Soros network”, he said, reporting on the information provided to foreign journalists.

“In contrast to the images that the western European media has attempted to suggest in recent days, that police violence and the excessive use of force had occurred, the police response was in fact ‘extremely subdued’ compared to the fact that Members of Parliament and political activists have attacked police and public institutions”, he stressed.

In his opinion, a typical case of double standards can be discovered in the assessment of events. He cited as an example the fact that the protests are “purportedly” about the amendment to the Labour Code, and Green Party MEP Judith Sargentini has spoken about human rights issues in recent days, while as far as the Hungarian Government is aware, Holland has the maximum 416 hours of overtime permitted in Europe, which is 16 hours more than made possible by the new Hungarian legislation.

Also in a telephone statement to MTI, Minister of State for EU Affairs Szabolcs Takács spoke about the fact that the “systematic destruction of Hungary’s image” has been going on for eight years, the most extreme example of which is the Sargentini Report, the resolution adopted based on the report and the events following that.

He pointed out that the Hungarian Government has taken conscious steps to comply with EU economic regulations, thanks to which the excessive deficit procedure against Hungary was terminated, and since then the country has achieved significant economic growth, while the deficit in several other EU states is allowed to remain above 3 percent “unpunished”. “There are several member states against which more infringement proceedings are ongoing than against Hungary”, he added.

“In France, we would also like to dispel the idea that the Hungarian Government is in any way anti-EU”, he highlighted. As he explained, a higher ratio of the Hungarian people supports the European Union than the EU average, and the Government is of a similar opinion. “What we are fighting against is the European Commission and the federalist Brussels elite, which are applying double standards, and which ‘stigmatise’ certain countries that are acting differently to the Brussels mainstream”, he continued. In his opinion this is largely due to the fact that since 2015 Hungary has clearly declared that it does not want to become an immigrant country and rejects mandatory resettlement quotas.

Mr. Takács also mentioned that he had met with French Minister for European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau, and with the French President’s European advisor Clément Beaune, with whom he discussed the reinforcement of joint Hungarian-French interests. “These include the reinforcement of EU defence capacities, within the framework of which Hungary has realised military acquisitions”, he stated.

He indicated that with relation to the upcoming EU multiannual framework, the parties had agreed with on the importance of maintaining the current level of agricultural and rural development funding, supporting nuclear energy, and the possibility of regulating official prices. He proposed that the parties also work together on these issues during the European Parliament election campaign.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)