Government official hits back at Verhofstadt criticism of ‘national consultation’ survey
Cabinet office state secretary Csaba Dömötör has hit back at liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt’s recent criticism of the Hungarian government’s “national consultation” public survey on the so-called Soros plan, dismissing the group leader’s remarks as “part of a regular attempt” to pressurise Hungary.
Dömötör reacted to social media postings by Verhofstadt in which he calls on Brussels to make clear that campaigns like the government’s survey are incompatible with European Union values. In a Facebook entry posted on Tuesday, Verhofstadt slammed the campaign as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s “populist quest to reinforce his autocratic rule by generating fear”.
“Mobilising citizens against an alleged external threat, just months ahead of parliamentary elections, targeting [US financier] Mr [George] Soros in person, is disgusting,” said Verhofstadt, adding that it reminded him of “the worst times of European history”.
Speaking to MTI, Dömötör said: “The reality is that the liberal politician who regularly lectures Hungary clearly supports the proposals that the consultation is about.”
The state secretary noted that Verhofstadt had called on Hungary before last year’s referendum on EU migrant quotas to vote “yes” for the resettlement of migrants in Hungary. He said that after this it was “gravely impudent” of Verhofstadt to deny the “plans” referenced in the survey.
Dömötör also argued that Verhofstadt’s call for the EU to condemn the survey went against the freedom of expression. All Hungarians have a right to express their thoughts on “the completely irrational and risky relocation plans”.
He said Verhofstadt’s “offensive remarks” only gave Hungarians further reason to take part in the survey.
If Verhofstadt truly cared about democratic values, he, too, would ask the European people what they think about illegal migration and migrant relocation plans, Dömötör said.
Featured image: www.facebook.com/MagyarországKormánya