Slovak FM: The majority of the European Parliament do not consider Hungary a Western-style democracy
January 20. 2023. – 08:21 AM
Slovakia's Foreign Minister Rastislav Káčer has expressed strong criticism of Hungary and Viktor Orbán. In an interview given to Aktuality.sk, he said that Viktor Orbán is grist to the mill of Russian propaganda, and that Hungary is the only country in the European Union that is not a Western-style democracy, adding that the majority of the European Parliament and the European Commission also share this view.
The Foreign Minister made his point when asked about Russian disinformation: he said that in Slovakia, politicians who promote the Russian narrative for one reason or another have a big influence, and that Russian fake news does not work as well in most European countries as it does in Slovakia. He also remarked that Viktor Orbán is spreading these same pro-Russian narratives, yet he has failed to influence a significant part of the country with them.
Then he was specifically asked about Hungary and whether he thought it was still a democracy. Káčer, who has been a frequent critic of the Hungarian government and of Viktor Orbán said that he was experiencing a "constant shitstorm" from Hungary, "they argue with whatever I say. Even Mr Soros must envy my popularity in the Hungarian media."
He also said that by his own criteria, Hungary is the only country in the European Union which is no longer a Western-style democracy. He added that he was not the only one who thought so: “The majority of the European Parliament and the European Commission, as well as colleagues I talk to, also see it that way. It doesn't matter whether someone says it more assertively or more diplomatically.”
Tamás Menczer, Hungarian State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, dedicated an entire Facebook post to Káčer on Thursday, calling on him to "speak about Hungarians in a respectful way".
"It is well known that Foreign Minister Káčer only feels comfortable if he regularly speaks about the Hungarian Prime Minister in an unacceptable style. But we must remind Slovakia's Foreign Minister that Viktor Orbán was elected by the Hungarian people with record support, and for the fourth time in a row.
Even the Foreign Minister of Slovakia should respect the decision of the Hungarian people.
Viktor Orbán is pro-peace and against sanctions, and the Hungarian people have entrusted him with the management of the current crisis, following the migration crisis and the Covid pandemic. This kind of stability is not particularly characteristic of Slovakia. So Foreign Minister Káčer would perhaps do better if he focused on his own country, which is constantly in a governmental crisis," the State Secretary wrote.
It is not clear whether the politician was reacting to this interview, but as there have been no other statements in the press in recent days in which Káčer has mentioned Hungarians or Viktor Orbán, it is to be assumed that this is the case. We have sent questions to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade about this and will update our article as soon as they have replied.
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