Budapest, October 9 (MTI) – Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said it was “unacceptable” that Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic “continues to be preoccupied with Hungary” after Milanovic criticised Hungary for its decision to erect a border fence.
Referring to Hungary, Milanovic on Thursday said that erecting a fence between two European Union member states is “not normal” and that the move would go down in history as “the biggest outrage and shame of the 21st century”. He said the “political elite” in Hungary “is playing a game” which he does not like and will “fight with words”.
Milanovic said it was “easy” to erect a barbed wire fence, and that his country would manage to get it done in two weeks, adding, however, that this was not the kind of Europe he wants to live in.
The prime minister also mentioned the train which Croatian authorities last month sent across Hungary’s border with some 1,000 migrants on board without notifying the Hungarian government beforehand — and which was sent back to Croatia on Thursday. Milanovic said Hungary “stole the property of Croatia’s railway company” for which the company would demand compensation.
Milanovic also said he wanted to know when Hungary would return the management rights to the jointly-owned Croatian oil firm INA.
On the topic of Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic’s official visit, Milanovic said if he had been the one visiting Hungary, he would have discussed judicial cooperation and the ruling of a Croatian court that “the MOL chairman bribed the former Croatian prime minister with 10 million euros to obtain a majority stake in INA.”
Szijjarto said in a statement: “The Croatian prime minister is probably extremely anxious about his country’s election campaign, and nervous because his government has failed the first real Schengen test.” Szijjarto said he “categorically rejects” the prime minister’s criticism.
The minister also responded to criticism from his Spanish counterpart, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, who, according to Spanish news agency EFE, said that Hungary does not want to demonstrate solidarity toward refugees. Szijjarto said the criticism was “unexpected” given that it is undeserved. He noted that Hungary has seen an influx of more than 330,000 migrants so far this year, a significant burden for the country. Hungary observes all international laws and shows solidarity toward Europe when it protects its external borders, Szijjarto said.