Hungarian government outraged after Donald Tusk claims prominent Nazi would be ‘proud’ of PM Orbán

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European People’s Party (EPP) President and former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s claim that Adolf Hitler’s jurist and prominent Nazi legal scholar Carl Schmitt would be proud of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has led an outraged Hungarian government to refute his comments.

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó and government spokesman Zoltán Kovács both reprimanded the EPP president for his slander against Orbán.

“Terrific. Good to know that even at times of crisis (when surely there are other things to keep us all busy), Orbánophobes like @donaldtusk still find the time and place to take swipes at Hungary,” Kovács tweeted over the weekend.

He was referring to Tusk’s interview with Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine where he said that after seeing the recent developments in Hungary, that Schmitt, who served as prominent legal scholar for the Nazis, would be “proud of him” in reference to Orbán.

Szijjártó said in a Facebook post that until Tusk does something to help the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he should be more modest.

“As I read the sly Nazi slander statement of Donald Tusk, it occurred to me: What did the president of Europe’s largest family of political parties do to help the European people (Hungarians among them) to assist in the fight against the pandemic? How many masks, respirators or protective suits did he provide to Europe? So far, the answer to these questions is ‘zero’. Mr. president would be well advised to be more modest,” Szijjártó wrote.

In the Spiegel interview, Tusk was commenting on the Hungarian parliament’s decision to grant extraordinary measures to the government for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

The measure passed with a two-thirds majority in parliament and was fully in line with the country’s constitution. Furthermore, parliament can revoke the state of emergency at any time and Orbán’s actions must be narrowly tailored to fighting the coronavirus outbreak.

Orbán was also defended by Czech politician and European Commission Vice President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová.

“I am not concerned yet. Hungary has so far passed no law that would go against the legal system of the Union,” Jourová said on a political program for Czech news channel CT24.

She added that she recently met Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga with whom she reviewed in detail all relevant Hungarian measures. 

Members of the Jewish community has also responded in outrage over Tusk, with Ádám Petri Lukács writing that Tusk’s statements are an insult to his grandmother who survived Auschwitz and his other Jewish relatives who perished due to persecution.

He emphasized that Jewish life is experiencing a renaissance in Hungary and that connecting Orbán to Nazism in no way reflects the reality of life in modern-day Hungary. 

He added that Tusk’s statements about Orban “humiliates and invalidates the suffering and death of the victims of the Shoah.”

Tusk, who previously served as European Council president, currently leads the center-right EPP coalition in the European Parliament, of which Orbán’s Fidesz party is a member. Tusk has recently called for Fidesz to be expelled from the EPP.

Title image: European People’s Party President Donald Tusk and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

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