Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on Friday rejected criticism by the group leader of Austria‘s Social Democratic party SPÖ, and said that “Budapest may legitimately have a position different from Vienna”.
“Even our Social Democratic friends should realise that the era of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy is over,” Szijjártó said at a press conference.
SPÖ’s Andreas Schieder on Thursday criticised Szijjártó for his “unfair” remarks concerning Austria’s chancellor, and said that “the European Union is a community of values and not to be mistaken for a bankomat”.
Answering questions at the press conference on Friday, Szijjártó said that “once one has no respect for Hungary or the Hungarian people, they will react in the same manner”, adding that “the time for decencies is over”. “Nobody asked the Austrian chancellor to come up with accusations… once he did so, he should expect reactions,” he added.
Chancellor Christian Kern had suggested in an interview to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung earlier this week that the EU should reduce funding for Hungary and Poland if they fail to comply with EU rules.
Szijjártó on Thursday said that the chancellor’s remarks were an indication of “warfare” against countries reluctant to accommodate illegal migrants. He insisted that the “warfare” took the form of “legal or financial threats” fitting in a “plan” devised by US financier George Soros to make EU countries give in and receive migrants.
According to Szijjártó, Kern has now “sided with Left-Liberal politicians” supporting Soros, and has “made it clear that he wants to cut EU funds due to Hungary under (relevant) agreements”.