Germany “has no moral basis” to speak of anti-Semitism in connection with Hungary “especially when it does so as a political attack”, foreign ministry state secretary Levente Magyar told a press conference on Monday. Justice minister Judit Varga added that the government has taken effective steps against anti-Semitism.
Commenting on a meeting with the German ambassador to Hungary after Germany’s Minister of State for Europe accused Hungary of tolerating anti-Semitism, Magyar said that he had told the ambassador that the remarks made by Michael Roth against Hungary were
“unacceptable” and “politically motivated”.
Magyar said that although Hungarian-German relations were based on mutual respect, “there is a staunch anti-Hungarian grouping within the German government whose fanatical flag-bearer is Roth; it attacks Hungary, and with it the Hungarian-German relationship as a whole, on a regular basis.”
Hungary is interested in maintaining its “excellent” ties with Germany and will work to prevent “the Social Democrat anti-Hungarian wing of the German government” from
disrupting bilateral relations,
Referring to a Facebook post by Michael Roth, Germany’s Minister of State for Europe, Justice Minister Judit Varga said she had responded to the accusations in an official letter. “The fact is that the Hungarian government has declared zero tolerance for anti-Semitism … unlike other European countries,” she said, accusing Roth of operating “double standards” as well as of “putting pressure on the democratically elected governments of several EU member states” with reference to common European values.
Varga said the consequences of politicising the rule of law and linking “such vague concepts” to budgetary sanctions were “now becoming clear”.
She said Roth’s comments called into question his commitment to honest cooperation while undermining mutual trust and solidarity between member states. As the current president of the EU,
Germany should recognise the importance of unity and cooperation,
Hungary, Varga said, remains a reliable partner in finding joint responses to the challenges facing the European Union. “But our position is clear: dialogue concerning the rule of law must be based on facts,” she added.
On Saturday, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto responded to Roth’s comments, saying Hungary’s Jewish community was “safe”, and he called on the minister to cease “his unworthy attack on the Hungarian people”. The following day, the Hungarian foreign ministry summoned Germany’s ambassador to Budapest in connection with Roth’s comments.