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Aug 31, 2018 - Zoltán Kovács

What’s wrong with the Swedes?

Why are these senior Swedish figures portraying Hungary as Europe’s bogeyman, spreading falsehoods and distorting facts about our government’s policies on migration?

Could it have something to do with the fact that the country faces general elections on September 9th? 

Yesterday, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó summoned Swedish Ambassador to Hungary Niclas Trouvé to have a conversation about recent comments by members of his government that distort Hungary’s staunch opposition to migration and support for defending Europe’s borders. 

Those who support immigration, including in this case members of the Swedish government, will not shy away from falsehoods and politically-motivated criticisms of democratically elected governments that, in representing the will of the citizens, oppose mass immigration and open borders.

The pro-migration camp, as Prime Minister Orbán said following his meeting earlier this week with Matteo Salvini, is led by French President Emmanuel Macron, but he’s not alone. As FM Szijjártó put it, “the northern countries are also attempting to gain as much credit as possible in this battle by all intents and purposes launching a competition about who can criticize the countries of Central Europe to the greatest extent.” 

Thus far, Sweden seems to be winning this miserable game.

On Wednesday, Sweden’s Migration Minister Heléne Fritzon said that in her view there is no difference between illegal immigrants and the refugees who fled the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

There’s so much wrong with that contrived parallel that I addressed it at length in a separate blog post, "No, the Hungarian refugees of 1956 are not the same as today’s migrants.”  Suffice it to say, the comparison collapses for anyone who has bothered with the details, like the fact that Hungarian refugees were in fact following the rules for asylum and they waited peacefully in neighboring states for weeks, months and sometimes even years for a country to admit them. It’s a serious falsification of history that we’re used to reading in the fever swamps of the left-wing blogosphere but not from a member of a European government.

If that weren’t enough, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström also chimed in on Twitter: 

I just read today that Viktor Orbán in Hungary and Matteo Salvini in Italy want to form an alliance against ”the democrats and the left” in Europe, naming Macron as their main opponent. I have one thing to say to them: bring it on.

In fact, Prime Minister Orbán was vowing to oppose those who promote immigration against the wishes of the European people. Prime Minister Orbán and Minister Salvini are advancing a democratic cause, fighting illegal immigration out of respect for the will of our citizens.

Following the announcement that he would summon the Swedish ambassador, Minister Szijjártó made it clear that Hungary won’t tolerate any false criticism during the campaign for the elections to the European Parliament.