Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga sent an official letter to German Federal Minister of State for European Affairs Michael Roth, who claimed over the weekend that anti-Semitism was “rampant in Hungary”, the Hungarian minister announced on her Facebook page.
“The claims of the German Social Democrat Minister of State for Europe represent another example of unsubstantiated accusations and double standards that uses our common European values as a pretext to exert pressure on democratically elected governments in some Member States, including Hungary,” Varga wrote. “Now, everyone can see what is to be expected if rule of law-related issues become politicized and budgetary sanctions are introduced based on vague concepts and non-transparent procedures.”
She was referring to Roth’s interview with Germany’s largest news portal, Die Welt, in which he claimed “one aspect that led to the Article 7 case against Hungary was rampant anti-Semitism in Hungary. I cannot speak critically about anti-Semitism in other countries without mentioning the appalling increase in anti-Semitic crimes in Germany.”
Varga wrote that contrary to Roth’s allegations, the truth was the exact opposite.
“In contrast to his claims, in reality, the Hungarian government has declared zero tolerance against anti-Semitism and, unlike other European countries, is successfully fighting against it,” Varga wrote.
As reported yesterday in Remix News, anti-Semitic crimes have risen rapidly in Germany while Hungary remains one of the safest countries in Europe for Jews.
While questioning Roth’s “commitment to sincere cooperation”, Varga nevertheless also extended an olive branch, writing, “Let us find common answers to the challenges faced by the European Union. In this task, Hungary remains a dependable partner of the German Presidency.”
Also on Monday, Levente Magyar, state minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Trade, met Germany’s ambassador to Budapest who was summoned to the ministry over the issue, saying that “within the German government there is a dedicated anti-Hungarian group whose fanatical flag bearer is state secretary Michael Roth, whose group regularly attacks Hungary and thereby the entirety of Hungarian-German relations”.
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó also wrote on Facebook yesterday that “the Jewish community in Hungary is safe, our Jewish compatriots do not have to be afraid, their cultural festivals do not need fully armed soldiers, synagogues and cemeteries we rebuilt it with public funding and were proud hosts of the European Maccabi Games last year. Respectfully, please put an end to the unworthy attack of the Hungarian people, and if I may suggest it, before you next speak on such a serious subject, please make sure that your own house is in order.”
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, apparently actively working to not elevate the issue to the highest level, has not yet spoken of the German allegations.