Hungary is helping all genuine refugees, Balázs Hidvéghi, an MEP of ruling Fidesz, told the British Premier Christian Radio in connection with Pope Francis’ visit to Hungary in an interview on Saturday.
“The tragic war in the Ukraine actually gave us a possibility to prove that all the accusation about Hungary previously saying that we do not help refugees and we reject people and we are not humanitarian were wrong,” Hidvéghi said. “They were outright lies,” he added. “Hungary has been engaged in the largest humanitarian aid programme since the war broke out,” he said. “We have helped close to 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees who have come to Hungary and asked for help. We have helped every single one of them,” he added.
Commenting on the war in Ukraine, Hidvéghi said “as a Catholic you need to always think about helping people who are in trouble, and working for peace and reconciliation”, MTI said. “In the midst of a brutal war, as it is, it’s obviously a difficult thing to imagine that you always have to emphasise that the first thing to do is to ask for a ceasefire and do everything in your power to help a ceasefire”. “Once you start negotiations then you have a chance to find a deal that is acceptable to both sides,” he said.
“If your position is only to send arms and more arms, and if you start talking about bringing Ukraine into NATO that’s a clear direction of an escalation of the war,” Hidvéghi added. Commenting on criticisms of the government from Brussels, the MEP said Hungary had always taken them seriously and was open to dialogue. At the same time, in recent years the government has been subject to ideologically motivated political attacks because it was not afraid to stand up for traditional values and defend national competencies, he added.
The current “over-centralised and ideologically biased policies” of Brussels are bad for Europe, he said, adding that their direction made cooperation more difficult and hurt mutual trust between member states. He called for a new approach that takes into account Europe’s diversity. Hidvéghi said the pope’s visit was a sign of solidarity, adding that this was his second visit to Hungary after meeting ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania in recent years.