“This is blackmail. We are sick of it”.
Hungary – In an interview given to Die Presse, the Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó attacked his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, rejected the accusations about the so called “lack of solidarity” at European level and estimated that the statement – “the blackmail” – of the French minister does endanger the unity of the European Union.
Attending an informal summit of the EU in Vienna, the Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó declared to the Austrian newspaper Die Presse that on the contrary to the assertions of his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, Hungary (as well as Poland that is also targeted) is acting “with absolute solidarity” and recalled that the Hungarian State spent more than one billion euros in order to secure its portion of the external borders that are also the borders of the Schengen Area. “If we would not have done it, hundreds of thousands more migrants would have trespassed into the EU,” said Mr. Szijjártó.
As the Austrian journalist asks him whether time has come for Hungary to “moderate herself,” the Hungarian minister answers abruptly that “this is an anti-European blackmail from the French Foreign Minister. We are sick of it that some people describe it like a humanitarian help or a sign of generosity from Western Europe that the Central Europeans get European funds. That is not a one way road. When Hungary became a member of the EU, she opened her markets. Austrian and German companies made enormous profits,” he said and and swept aside the wrong belief, that has been already debunked many times – in particular by the economist Thomas Piketty – of an Eastern Europe that would benefit of the uninterested generosity of Western Europe.
Then, the Hungarian Foreign Minister warned that the negotiations concerning the EU budget for the 2021-2027 cycle will be “a struggle” and insisted on the fact that “those who like Le Drian want to introduce subjective criteria for the payment of the cohesion funds, endanger the unity of the European Union.”
For Péter Szijjártó, those oppositions are linked to the migration issue, “and the one who are not ready to share the hypocritical and politically correct approach of the European Commission are attacked.”
Besides the question of the relations between Hungary and George Soros, between the Fidesz and the EPP, the journalist, Christian Ultsch, also asked the Hungarian minister whether a rapprochement was taking place regarding an axis Rome-Vienna-Budapest. The Hungarian minister explained then quite evasively that the new Italian and Austrian governments were now indeed closer to the Hungarian one and that the migration issue might bring them even closer. Finally, as Die Presse asked him about the opposition between the Hungarian and Italian governments about the question of the redistribution of the illegal migrants [the Italian government wishes a distribution among the member States of the EU while Hungary is fiercely opposed to it], Péter Szijjártó remembered that the Hungarian government agreed with the Italian Minister of Internal affairs Matteo Salvini that “no illegal migrant should enter the territory of the EU” and even added that “[Hungary] will be happy to help Italy to send back home the illegal migrants.”