Commenting on a recent Polish Constitutional Court decision which has elicited strong criticsm in Europe, Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, said Polish prime minister now knew what it was like to address “an extremist organisation like the European Parliament”. Hungary, he added, maintained the position that respecting constitutional court decisions was a fundamental part of observing the rule of law.
He said the European Commission president seemed unaware that the primacy of EU law was not stipulated in the EU treaties. The European Court of Justice, he added, has stated the primacy of EU law, and this is recognised as a general rule by member states, including Hungary.
At the same time, Gulyás cited constitutional court rulings in France, Spain, the Czech Republic and Germany, saying the Polish top court’s reasoning was similar to those of almost all member states’ courts. Accordingly, the substantive provisions of constitutions must not be violated, and the primacy of EU law only applied in the case of conferred powers, Guylas added.
Hungary objects to “anti-Polish sentiment” in EU debates and sees it “as clear proof of double standards”,
Meanwhile, commenting on opposition prime ministerial candidate Páter Márki-Zay’s recent interview to CNN in which he accused the government of hate speech, Gulyas referred to one-time radical nationalist Jobbik’s presence in the opposition alliance, adding that the left wing seemed sanguine about forming an alliance with “anti-Semites”. “Progressive anti-Semitism”, he insisted, was now prevalent. “Progressive anti-Semites are those who hate [Prime Minister Viktor] Orbán more than the Jews,” he added.
Commenting on Marki-Zay’s criticism of the government’s scheme to keep public utility fees low, he said allowing energy prices to be guided by the market would cost households in Hungary an extra 30,000 forints extra each month.
Commenting on the recent opposition primary, Gulyás said
Gyurcsány’s party remained the strongest force on the left,
adding that it had chosen someone “who does not directly carry the Gyurcsány name”.
In line with parliamentary rules on setting up parliamentary groups, parties running on a list can set up a group if they have at least five seats, he said. The rules on setting up groups reflected generosity towards the opposition, he insisted. Commenting on the prospect of a debate held between Orbán and Márki-Zay, he said the campaign was still far off so it was too early to discuss the possibility. Commenting on petrol prices, he noted a government tax-cut mecahnism for when the price of crude oil exceeded a certain level, saying it was partly thanks to this decision that fuel prices in Hungary were still among the lowest in the EU.
Commenting on a possible veto of related EU plans,
he said conclusions must be approved with full unanimity and that V4 countries and several southern countries may come together to veto them. Commenting on locations selected for the upcoming national holiday celebrations on Oct 23, Gulyas warned members of the public not to fall prey to provocations, adding that since “a left-wing government is not in power … innocent people won’t be getting shot in the eye or beaten up”.
Meanwhile, commenting on the Covid situation in Romania, he said it was inadvisable for people to come to Hungary for crowded events. The government, he noted, has not made mask-wearing obligatory for the time being. There are no restrictions to the right of assembly during the October 23 national holiday, he added.