Prime Minister’s Office chief Gergely Gulyas on Thursday criticised European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos for his recent remarks “promoting legal migration and the organised resettlement of migrants”.
Speaking at a weekly government press conference, Gulyas said that the commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship had given “a political opinion which does not represent the European Union as a whole”. Gulyas insisted that the European Commission had entered into the political campaign ahead of next year’s European Parliamentary elections. The EP vote to adopt the Sargentini report on the rule of law in Hungary was “part of a revenge campaign launched because of Hungary’s consistent migration policy”.
He noted migration is hotly contested in the EU. Hungary, the Visegrad countries, Austria and Italy have different views on the matter from the commissioner’s, he added. Under the Lisbon Treaty, the commission had been “the treaty’s guardian”. “But over the past four years, it is evident that the commission has taken on a political role which strays from the treaty’s framework,” he said. Gulyas noted that Hungary’s government is contesting the Sargentini vote’s mechanism at the European Court of Justice.
In connection with the NGO Migration Aid, Gulyas said its endeavour to turn itself into a political party was an attempt to bypass the law which taxes aid given by a foreign entity. At the same time, the freedom to found a party applies to everyone in Hungary, he said.
Meanwhile, Gulyas said no plans were afoot to change the contract governing the expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant since, he insisted, the contract accorded with Hungary’s interests. He added that the project was expected to be completed on schedule.
Asked about reports that Prime Minister Viktor Orban used a private plane in order to travel to football matches, Gulyas said the reports were part of a personal smear campaign related to the EP elections. He said Orban had not received the favour in his capacity as a public official, and in any case its related value had not reached the limit set by the relevant act of parliament. Besides, it was a fraction of the monthly allowance for a lawmaker, he added. Gulyas also addressed reports concerning a yacht trip enjoyed by the chief executive of Hungarian national rail company MAV. The official, he said, had been appointed to his post after having taken the trip, but he agreed that the head of a public company should be more circumspect.
He denied the existence of a government document suggesting that Hungary may receive 500 billion forints less in European Union funding due to shortcomings in Hungarian public procurement and its system for distributing EU funds. He said there was no such risk. In any case, the government EU tenders are supplemented to the tune of 10-15 percent from domestic budget resources, he added.
On the topic of a recent video leak of a Hungarian citizenship oath ceremony in western Ukraine, Gulyas said that every state has the exclusive right to decide to whom it gives citizenship. No unlawful act had taken place, he said. The consulate building belongs to the territory of the Hungarian state, he noted. “If Ukraine takes diplomatic action, Hungary will make a proportionate response,” he said.
Source and photo: MTI