22nd Jan 2021

Budapest: 'German interference in Hungarian domestic affairs unacceptable'

  • Budapest: Hungary has told Germany to refrain from commenting on domestic affairs (Photo: EUobserver)

The Hungarian foreign ministry has denounced Germany's criticism of its new constitution as an "unacceptable" interference in domestic affairs and warned Berlin to steer away from such "shocking" statements in the future.

"The comments made by minister of state Hoyer basically evaluated Hungarian domestic political processes," Zsolt Nemeth, the German minister's counterpart said on Thursday.

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"The statement is incomprehensible and unacceptable," he continued.

On Tuesday, Hoyer said that the new conservative constitution passed by the Hungarian parliament the day before and a controversial media law approved earlier in the year were "hardly compatible" with European Union values.

"We are observing the developments in Hungary with great attention and some worry," he had said.

The Hungarian foreign ministry said in an email message that it was "shocked" by the German minister's statement and complained that Hoyer had received "detailed information on the constitutional process several times."

"The new constitution does not restrict the rights of minorities or the rule of law, and strengthens the common European values instead of harming them," the ministry missive continued.

The ministry also derided as "particularly unacceptable" references by Germany to its Media Act, saying that it had been amended following complaints by the European Commission. In conceding to Brussels' concerns, Hungary "thereby demonstrated a commitment to common European values."

The Hungarian minister also told Germany not to criticise his country in public again.

Nemeth added that he hoped that as a result of "the intensity and friendly nature of the Hungarian-German diplomatic relations," in the future, "concerns would be dispelled in the course of bilateral relations instead of statements."

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