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Tuesday, 11 September 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

The situation in Hungary (debate)

  Ryszard Antoni Legutko, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, I have a feeling that there is an overpowering tediousness in a debate like this one. It has been rehearsed so many times. Nothing new. Another instalment of an attack on their democratically elected governments. The Fidesz government has had massive support for the last decade. You said it is not an attack on Hungarian society, but on the Hungarian Government. Well, somebody elected this government. It was not Snow White and the seven dwarves. If you do not like it, just abolish the election and appoint somebody from outside to be the viceroy of Hungary. I think Mr Timmermans will be more than willing to take the job. And after that you do that, do the same with Poland. That will solve all the problems.

The resolution that you have read – at least some of you must have read it – is so biased. To say it is biased is an understatement. It is exclusively based on the information from anti-Fidesz groups, and the argument of the majority of the Hungarians on the government has been simply ignored, and this is a regular practice here. This has been done in the case of Poland too. The replies of the government had been thrown into the wastebasket. They are just not taken into account.

Take the case of the Central European University. This school was established as a foreign institution with certain privileges, and the government wants to restrict these privileges. What’s wrong with that? It has nothing to do with teaching, research, academic freedom or freedom of thought. In many EU countries the function of foreign academic institutions is very restricted, far more restricted than the current Hungarian law provides. Why is it that you tolerate certain arrangements and certain practices in your own countries and you demand that the Hungarians change their law? This is absolutely unacceptable.

The good side of this is that all this entire spectacle is counter-productive. In my country after each spectacle – I cannot say ‘debate’ – of Poland-bashing in the European Parliament, the support for my government conspicuously increases. So I suspect the same will happen in Hungary. So, Prime Minister Orbán, it may very well be that the authors of this resolution are your unwitting or perhaps clandestine supporters.

Ostatnia aktualizacja: 6 grudnia 2018Informacja prawna - Polityka ochrony prywatności