Change Edition

Asselborn: EU must act on 'tumour of values' that is Orban's Hungary
Hungary

Asselborn: EU must act on 'tumour of values' that is Orban's Hungary

by BT 2 min. 09.04.2018 From our online archive
Comments by Luxembourg's foreign minister following Viktor Orban's landslide victory unlikely to improve countries' already strained relations
Orban's Fidesz party secures two-thirds majority for third time running (photo: AFP)
Orban's Fidesz party secures two-thirds majority for third time running (photo: AFP)

Recent comments by Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's foreign minister, following Viktor Orban's landslide victory in the Hungarian elections are unlikely to improve the countries' already strained relations.

Speaking with German news website Welt, Asselborn claimed that European Union (EU) countries now needed to take action.

"After these elections in Hungary, it is for Germany and France – and all member states that are not indifferent – to get involved, quickly and unambiguously, on the basis of the European treaty and neutralise this tumour of values," Asselborn said. 

He said the EU had been created so that the "ruin of the first half of the 20th century" would not be repeated, adding that this peace had been guaranteed only through "our union of values".

This Sunday, Orban's Fidesz party secured a two-thirds majority for the third time running, winning 133 of 199 parliamentary seats. 

It is for Germany and France – and all member states that are not indifferent – to get involved, quickly and unambiguously, on the basis of the European treaty and neutralise this tumour of values.

Jean Asselborn

Orban, who campaigned on an anti-immigration platform and as a challenger to Brussels, has become the poster-child for European populists since the 2015 migrant crisis, when he first took controversial measures against thousands of migrants fleeing the Middle East for Europe. 

His actions have put him at odds with many EU politicians, with Asselborn emerging as one of his fiercest critics.

In his interview with the Welt, Luxembourg's foreign minister expresses concerns that other Eastern and Central European countries – or even one of the EU's larger founding countries – could in future "indulge in the decomposition of values and scaremongering".

"Orban and company are not a reference for the EU of our children," Asselborn said.

Asselborn has called for Hungary to be suspended from the EU for violating democratic core values and treating refugees like "animals".

More recently, Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó dismissed Asselborn as "an idiot" after Luxembourg's chief diplomat called Orban a dictator in a German newspaper.