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Sep 28, 2017

Hungarian government pens letter to Financial Times opposing the "Soros plan"

The government of Viktor Orbán opposes illegal immigration, with broad, popular support, and that’s why it opposes Mr Soros’s efforts to push his immigration plan, Hungary's government spokesperson said

The Hungarian government has responded to an article published in the Financial Times, which claimed the country should be punished for disobeying Brussels.

In a letter penned by Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács, and published by the Financial Times this morning, he said the government of Viktor Orbán opposes illegal immigration, with broad, popular support, and that’s why it opposes Mr Soros’s efforts to push his immigration plan.

Here is the letter in full:

Sir, According to your editorial “Hungary’s assault on Soros and EU values” (September 25), Brussels should suspend cohesion funds to Hungary for violating the rule of law and “blatantly” rejecting the EU’s rules and values. It’s the latest in a series of attempted denunciations of Hungary by your newspaper, presenting opinion so determined in its criticism that it loses sight of plain facts. Last week, in “Anti-Soros conspiracies sweep the globe” (September 19), Gideon Rachman denied the existence of a Soros plan to have the EU admit 1m migrants a year, saying that it does not exist. This week, you claim it’s a “fabricated scare story”.

Yet you ignore the facts that George Soros himself published his plan with those very proposals, he meets regularly with members of the European Commission, and the commission continues to develop a migrant resettlement quota scheme to distribute migrants among member states.

The government of Viktor Orbán opposes illegal immigration, with broad, popular support, and that’s why we oppose Mr Soros’s efforts to push that agenda. Despite your claim, that is not a violation of the rule of law.

Your argument wobbles on several other points as well. Contrary to your assertions, “not every criticism” of Mr Soros, as the Israeli ambassador to Hungary said recently, “is anti-Semitism”. Hungary has not launched “a legal assault” on the Central European University (many foreign universities have already agreed to comply with the new law); nor is it vilifying non-governmental organisations but has required them to be more transparent.

A European Parliament delegation that left Hungary just last week found nothing out of the ordinary in several EU-funded projects it inspected. Besides, cutting off cohesion funds is a bad idea because, as EU commissioner Günther Oettinger said recently, European industry is a “net recipient” in that deal.

Hungary has demonstrated solidarity with our European allies by protecting our common border, upholding our treaty obligations out of respect for the rule of law in the spirit of European values.

Read more here.