Slovakia's ex-PM stands up for Hungarian government in EU dispute
Robert Fico, Slovakia's former prime minister says he stands firmly with Hungary and PM Viktor Orban. Mr Fico gave an interview to Hungary's commercial HirTV channel.
“I have never interfered in the domestic affairs of any country, but in my view, the proposal to withdraw 7.5 billion euros in EU funding from Hungary is a punishment that has nothing to do with the laws or decrees the Hungarian government or parliament adopts,” former Slovak PM Robert Fico told the Hungarian HirTV in an interview. He pointed out that
“this punishment has been imposed because Viktor Orban and the Hungarian government very convincingly adhere to their positions, for example, regarding the war in Ukraine. However, these positions are not in line with the stance taken by member states. This is why I feel that the European Commission has made an extremely dangerous decision or proposal.
“Hearing anyone – in this case the European Commission – claim that the rule of law has been violated in Hungary makes me laugh a little. Because what is happening in Slovakia then? In Slovakia, some people die in prison, in Slovakia we are witnessing the justice ministry apologising to people for having been convicted unlawfully,” the former head of government said.
Mr Fico also highlighted that trying to abolish the right to veto means the beginning of the end of the European Union, “because why will small countries be there then? In that case, we can be invited after the European Council meeting only to be told what Germany and France have agreed,” he added.
Much of the world has a very different view of the Russia-Ukraine conflict from the EU or the US and I take the same position on the issue as PM Orban,
the Slovak politician said, stressing that as head of government he would never once have sent arms or ammunition to Ukraine. Anyone who sends arms to Ukraine is voting for the continuation of the war, Mr Fico explained. No one can claim being pro-peace and supplying arms to Ukraine at the same time. This is simply impossible, he stated, noting that
“Viktor Orban’s views on the Ukraine-Russia conflict are very close to my own, and I have been a proponent of those since the conflict erupted. For that, the Slovak press has branded me Putin’s footsoldier but I refute that. My loyalty is first and foremost to Slovakia. I would like to see no war conflict in a neighbouring country. My political views are different from Viktor Orban’s. He’s a conservative politician and I’m a left-winger, but we have the same views on war and peace.”
The former premier then posed the rhetorical question, “Have our sanctions in the European Union forced the Russians back by even a millimetre in Ukraine? The answer is simple: sanctions have not changed Russia’s position towards Ukraine at all. So what are they for? Not to mention the fact that they are counterproductive and cause serious problems, especially for smaller countries,” Mr Fico explained.