Jourová: National consultation contains lies, billboards are scandalous

December 13. 2023. – 10:39 AM


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"The questionnaire of the Hungarian government's national consultation contains lies and the accompanying billboard campaign is outrageous, scandalous and insulting," European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová said in response to a question from Euronews.

She commented on the billboards at a Tuesday press conference about the Commission's democracy package, and said that "this campaign insults my boss Ursula von der Leyen, insults me personally and insults most – if not all – of the commissioners. This is the first issue, and I don't believe this is what the European jargon refers to as "sincere cooperation".

Speaking about the questionnaire itself, she said she had seen things in it that were "verifiable lies".

"For example, the claim that Brussels wants to dismantle the system of subsidies for energy prices is a lie. The claim that Brussels wants to abolish the Hungarian extra profit tax is a lie, because that decision is up to the Member States. And to add something juicy as well: the claim that Brussels' support for the Palestinians allegedly ends up with Hamas: that is a pure lie'.

"The campaign is misleading the Hungarian people and we fiercely oppose this," the EU Commissioner stressed.

The Hungarian government launched its 13th consultation this November. The subject is the government's latest mantra, the defense of sovereignty. But the Sovereignty Protection Bill was tabled and adopted well before the consultation concluded and the population's views could be known. The veracity of the questions in the national consultation is itself questionable, and many of the issues it touches on are oversimplified. As usual, the answers suggest two options: agreeing with the government and everything will be alright, or living in a country which will be turned into a 'migrant ghetto', without subsidized utility bills and an interest rate freeze, which will send weapons to the Ukrainians and money to Hamas, while people eat 'genetically modified Ukrainian grain' and 'aggressive LGBTQ propaganda' is forced on children – all at the behest of Brussels, of course.

The European Commission's response to the consultation was rather subdued, noting that it "contains untrue allegations", but the Commission spokesperson said they "trust the intelligence of the Hungarian public". Eric Mamer also said that he had shown the posters to Committee President, Ursula von der Leyen, but "she didn't bat an eye".

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