Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, commented on two recent cases involving free speech issues, saying “the big hypocrisy of press freedom and freedom of expression is gradually being revealed for what it is.”
Commenting on German football club Hertha BSC’s sacking of Hungarian coach Zsolt Petry due to his remarks about migration and same-sex marriage, Minister Szijjártó said on Facebook that the case highlighted how a public figure had been penalised for taking a position that went against liberal mainstream ideology.
Gulyás said his remarks on migration are “a European, restrained and civilised statement made in defense of a European identity, which must not be punished in a rule of law." Hungary’s foreign ministry has summoned the German embassy’s charge d’affaires over a German soccer team’s firing of a Hungarian coach because of his recent comments concerning migration and same-sex marriage.
Meanwhile, regarding a report by Hungarian public current affairs channel M1 about questions asked by an Austrian journalist to Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party, Minister Szijjártó said M1’s critical commentary on the journalist had caused an uproar in Austria. Journalists, he added, could rely on press freedom “to spread fake news about Hungary”, but another journalist’s critical opinion of her work was then interpreted as an attack against press freedom. “Well, my friends, two gaffes within just a few days: this is pitiful,” Minister Szijjártó said, adding that he had briefed his Austrian counterpart “and friend” about them.