Orbán’s “racist” speech condemned, after a week’s delay

Senior EU officials have condemned Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech for “openly racist” remarks – a week after the Hungarian prime minister gave his traditional political summer speech.

“All EU member states, including Hungary, have adhered to common global values,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told Slovakian news site aktuality.sk on Saturday 30 July.

She added that “to discriminate on the basis of race is to flout those values”, and that the EU is founded on “equality, tolerance, justice and fair play”, but without specifically mentioning Orban.

In this speech, Orbán said that Hungarians do not want to be “mixed race”, as many Western European societies have become.

Over the weekend, leaders of the main political parties in the European Parliament also issued a statement saying they ‘strongly condemn the recent overtly racist statement’.

The parties also called on the commission and council of member states to condemn the statement.

The parties said member states should issue recommendations to Hungary under the Article 7 sanctions procedure, which has been dragging on for four years without tangible results.

The purpose of the procedure is to see if a member state is in breach of fundamental EU values ​​and to ensure that the country corrects its course.

The parties also urged the EU executive not to release EU funds to Hungary as part of the Covid-19 recovery funds for rule of law reasons.

Government spokesman Zoltán Kovács said Orban’s speech had been “misinterpreted” by those who “clearly do not understand the difference between the mixture of different ethnic groups who all come from the Judeo- Christian, and the mixture of peoples of different civilizations”. , reports AFP.

Last Thursday, Orbán also said he was misunderstood.

“It sometimes happens that I speak in a way that can be misunderstood (…) the position that I represent is a cultural point of view,” Orban told reporters during a visit to Austria, where he has was booed by protesters.

A longtime adviser to Orbán resigned last Tuesday following the fallout from the prime minister’s remarks, calling the speech “pure Nazi text”. However, over the weekend she withdrew her resignation, saying Orbán’s explanation was sufficient.

deep problem

The uproar over Orbán’s speech hides Hungary’s deep economic difficulties, fueled by high inflation, rising energy costs and the unsustainability of the price cap policy.

Over the weekend, Orbán’s government restricted eligibility for capped gasoline and diesel to private vehicles, farm vehicles and taxis, which would exclude company-owned cars.

A government decree issued on Saturday said it would increase a windfall tax on oil and gas group MOL’s profits to 40% from 25%, Reuters reported.

A series of windfall taxes on banks and certain businesses were introduced in May in a bid to help curb a soaring budget deficit.

The government also announced it would allow companies to pay their taxes in euros or dollars, to boost the country’s reserves as its own currency, the forint, weakens.


Fr

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