Budapest, May 10 (MTI) – A Hungarian government official on Wednesday sent a letter to Frans Timmermans, first vice-president of the European Commission, calling on him to quit his post, citing comments the commissioner made in an interview to German daily Die Zeit concerning his view that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had been motivated by anti-Semitism when criticising USfinancier George Soros during his recent speech in the European Parliament.
Miklós Soltész, state secretary of the ministry of human resources for church, citizenship and civil society relations, wrote to Timmermans that his remarks had “gravely offended our country, the Hungarian people and the Jewish community here, and so there is no option other than to resign from your post”.
The state secretary said he had read the interview with a sense of “outrage”. “I reject the baseless charge in the name of all Hungarians who have been offended,” he wrote, adding that Timmermans’ remark suggested that he “knows nothing of the Hungarian reality…”
Soltesz noted that the government led by Orban had ploughed 19 billion forints (EUR 61m) of taxpayers’ money into support for Hungary’s Jewish community, resulting in the renovation of synagogues around the country and beyond its borders.
The government has also given financial support for a national programme to renovate Jewish cemeteries. It has also introduced a remembrance day dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust and designated Holocaust denial as a crime. Soltesz further listed the numerous areas in which the government has supported educational and other activities of the Jewish community.
He also noted that the film of Nobel prize-winning Imre Kertesz’s Fatelessness and the Oscar-winning film Son of Saul also benefited from state support under the current government.