MEP says it is well known that Hungarian intelligence services are leaking to Russia, then says she expressed herself incorrectly
February 08. 2023. – 08:13 AM
According to French Green MEP Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Hungary poses a specific threat to the European Union, the Hungarian State News Agency, MTI reports.
Delbos-Corfield, who was attending an event entitled "Cities for the Rule of Law" at Brussels City Hall on Tuesday, said in a panel discussion that it is well known that Hungarian intelligence services are leaking to Russia and that Hungary is at the forefront of spreading fake news, censoring news and generating fear among the population. "We must learn from the Hungarian case. The European Union must learn to defend itself against attacks from within," the European Parliament's rapporteur on Hungarian affairs stated.
According to Euronews, Delbos-Corfield said: "I would like to address the geopolitical situation within which Hungary poses a specific threat today. This is not just about political infighting. I don't understand why the other member states in the European Council are not reacting. It is a real threat. Why? First of all, because there is a place, Budapest, where Russian influence still exists. This, of course, has nothing to do with the city's administration. We have known for years that government agencies and the secret services are leaking to the Russians."
The MEP also spoke about the extent of manipulation in Hungary. "It took only ten years to build up the deceit, which is amazing to me. The last elections were built by Fidesz on two things. The first was that the government made people believe that the European Union would send young Hungarians to the war in Ukraine. The second was a complete nonsense that the European Union was preparing to change the gender of school children. It is unbelievable to me that such an incredible piece of information can be spread in a country and people actually believe it," he said.
According to Delbos-Corfield, the European Union is already too late to react and it is feared that this process cannot be reversed. She said the EU's task now is rather to make sure that this process "does not become contagious and doesn't spread to other member states".
Gergely Karácsony, Mayor of Budapest, also spoke at the event. He said that today, Hungary is a long way from meeting the expectations that the European Union expects from the candidate countries. In his opinion, the EU's instruments to protect the rule of law are weak and slow to be applied, which, among other things, has made possible the creation of a "hybrid regime" within the European Union.
Update: Delbos-Corfield says she "expressed herself incorrectly”
"I was inaccurate," Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield admitted to Népszava shortly after she said it was common knowledge that "the institutions of the Orbán government, the secret services, are leaking to the Russians."
In her clarification, the French MEP for the Greens/European Free Alliance said that she did not mean systemic leaks with the approval of the services.
"As a participant in a panel discussion at the Brussels Town Hall, I said that there is a place within the European Union where there is space for Russian interference. There is a government, the Hungarian government, which is not a reliable partner for the other member states in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. I wanted to illustrate this, among other things, with the Russian hacking attacks on the Foreign Ministry in Budapest. The Hungarian authorities were aware of this, yet for a long time they did nothing to prevent information, including confidential information being leaked to the Russians. That is what I was thinking, but I expressed myself incorrectly," she told Népszava.
Zoltán Kovács, Hungarian State Secretary for International Communication and Relations reacted to the events on Twitter:
“Didier Reynders of the EC participates in a klatch of leftists & Greens and Hungarian opposition quitter Gergely Garácsony. MEP Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield spouts completely unfounded claims about the Hungarian government leaking. Press toadies regurgitate the smear. Some wonder why confidence in Brussels is so low.”
Hungarian investigative journalism center Direkt36 previously published their findings on the Russian hacking attacks of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry in this article.
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