Budapest, January 11 (MTI) – Recent events have made it clear that the press has greater freedom in central Europe than in western Europe, Hungary’s foreign minister said.
Peter Szijjarto reacted to comments from Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom made at a defence conference in Sweden on Sunday in which she referred to Hungary and Poland as countries that have introduced reforms which restrict the freedom of expression.
Szijjarto said in a statement that “certain western politicians … still refuse to acknowledge the obvious”. He said it was “clear that illegal migration raises the threat of terrorism and crime in Europe, but anyone discussing this is not a good democrat”.
Szijjarto told his Swedish counterpart “not to worry” about the state of democracy in Hungary or Poland. “Hungarians made a clear choice in both 2010 and 2014,” Szijjarto said referring to landslide election victories by Fidesz. “Recently the Poles also made a clear choice and everyone must respect their opinion.”
The minister said the European Union can only be strong if its member states are. “The Swedish foreign minister is wrong: it is not Hungary or Poland that make the EU weaker, but rather the member states that make baseless accusations instead of finding a solution to Europe’s historic migrant crisis and the other challenges facing the bloc,” Szijjarto said.