Hungary summons Spanish ambassador over minister’s remarks
Hungary’s foreign ministry has summoned the Spanish ambassador over the Spanish foreign minister’s recent critical remarks concerning Hungary.
Foreign ministry state secretary Levente Magyar told reporters on Wednesday that Josep Borell, “the foreign minister of the far-left Spanish government, launched an insulting and violent outburst” against Hungary at a public forum on Tuesday.
The two countries can disagree on certain matters, “and in this turbulent European political situation”, certain countries may face criticism, Magyar said.
But the tone of these criticisms, he added, “mustn’t overstep the framework of honesty and fair cooperation”, especially if Hungary is not there to respond to them.
Magyar said Borell had accused Hungary of xenophobia at the forum in question and said that the country lacked a separation of powers and press freedom. He also called Hungary and other countries in the region “pseudo-democracies,” Magyar added.
Hungary rejects the minister’s claims, the state secretary said, adding that “everyone can see for themselves” that Hungary has a free press, separation of powers and that Hungarians are not xenophobic.
He said it was understandable that after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s meeting with Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini last month and the European Parliament’s approval of the Sargentini report last week, Hungary had become a focal point of European political discourse, with every government reacting to Hungary’s policies in some way.
But the Hungarian government, Magyar said, “cannot accept a tone like the one used by Josep Borell”.
The state secretary added, at the same time, that Hungary and Spain’s relations were on the up, noting that Borell is due to visit Budapest at the end of October.
Featured image: MTI