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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s reply to Manfred Weber

In his reply also sent to the Hungarian news agency MTI, the Prime Minister wrote European mainstream media exclude, neglect and ban thoughts which are not compatible with the world view they relay day in day out. “They will remain silent about this, too. That’s nothing new, however, to us Central Europeans. In fact, this is why we invented samizdat. The clandestine press. Write, print, read, share! Sam izdat: about us, for us.,” Mr Orbán argued. He first recalled that on Thursday Manfred Weber told correspondents accredited to Germany that the notorious rule of law mechanism is not being created against Hungary and Poland, and that the goal is to depoliticise issues related to the rule of law and to remove them from party political debates.

 The truth, however, is completely the opposite,” the Prime Minister stated, indicating that this is supported by several European politicians’ statements. From among members of the European Commission, he quoted Vera Jourová who has asserted that “Orbán is building a sick democracy”; Didier Reynders in whose opinion “there are rule of law crises in some Member States, particularly in Hungary and Poland”; Frans Timmermans who said “free press in Hungary is virtually non-existent”; and Helena Dalli who said “this mechanism is a means for making Member States fall in line”.

He also quoted Vice President of the European Parliament Katarina Barley who said “Hungary and Poland must be starved out”; while liberal politician Guy Verhofstadt said “there is no need to prove whether the functioning of Hungary and Poland is in line with the system that’s about to be established. This has already been proven. It must be put into action immediately.” Mr Orbán also recalled a statement by German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas in which he said “finally, we will have a mechanism that is going to be very painful for Hungary and Poland”.

Luxembourg Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn said, the Prime Minister quoted, that “this cancerous tumor must be removed. Hungary is a dictatorship like Belarus”. Based on these reactions, the Prime Minister wrote to Manfred Weber “You want to alter the current legal status in order to create a mechanism that you can immediately turn against Hungary and Poland. In light of the statements of politicians from the European Commission, the European Parliament and responsible national governments, “you can no longer deny this,” he added. “Now, you want us, Hungarians to give our consent”, he observed. Concluding his reply to the leader of the People’s Party group, Mr Orbán wrote in history the Germans asked many things from the Hungarians, but “yet, you are the first ones to consider us Panscher. That we are not.”