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Viktor Orbán Claims Finding Common Ground with Germany’s Government Difficult

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán talked to Budapester Zeitung about relations between Germany and Hungary, the war in Ukraine, and the government’s negotiations with the European Commission about the withheld EU funds to which Hungary is entitled.

The German government’s program is a world apart from the Hungarian government’s views, and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) is the most anti-Hungarian party in Europe, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview published on the news portal of the German-language newspaper Budapester Zeitung on Monday. “It will take serious efforts to bridge the differences that exist between the two countries in ever more areas,” he added.

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According to the Prime Minister, the center-right CDU/CSU party alliance is already left-wing, but “interstate relations are more important than relations between parties,” so his government is “compelled to sacrifice” ties with the right-wing opposition party Alternative for Germany (AfD) “on the altar of best possible intergovernmental relations.” “It is a specificity of German democracy that if we were to take steps towards AfD, that would have an impact on intergovernmental relations,” he added.

Orbán said that Germany has become a multicultural society, and Hungarian society is much more pluralistic, freer, and more peaceful than German society. In Germany, a liberal hegemony dominates, meaning that there is room only for a single narrative in the public domain, and anyone who departs from that no longer exists for the members of that public, he explained.

Regarding the war in Ukraine, he said that the EU sanctions were conceived solely on a moral and emotional basis, and this policy is destroying Europe’s rational and geopolitical interests. He reiterated his previously mentioned thesis that the war will not end with Ukrainian-Russian talks and American-Russian talks will be required.

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Speaking of the government’s negotiations with the European Commission about the withheld EU funds, he said that the government’s political opponents are using EU institutions as a weapon.

They are penalizing us, and are evidently blackmailing us with the EU funds, for which there is no legal basis, the whole thing is blackmail, pure and simple,”

he explained. Orbán said that his government does not want to engage in disputes, they want to cooperate and implement the 17 points requested by the European Commission. “We will comply with every request. But I bet you that immediately after these, there will be an 18th, a 19th, and so on,” the Hungarian head of government said, adding that “my starting point is that after these ever further requests will keep coming.”

According to the Prime Minister, the funds will be released at the end of the year. “Hungary cannot be cornered financially,” he stressed.

Featured photo via Miniszterelnö

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