Luxembourg foreign minister Jean Asselborn has openly called for Hungary to be kicked out of the European Union. In an interview with Die Welt published Tuesday morning, Asselborn expressed pointed criticism at Hungary’s treatment of refugees, and the country’s worsening democratic deficit.
“Countries like Hungary which build fences to keep out those seeking refuge from war, which violate freedom of the press, and which violate the independence of the judiciary, should be temporarily or permanently excluded from the European Union,” he told the German daily.
According to Asselborn, the only way to ensure the European Union’s shared values and cohesion is to hold its recalcitrant Member States accountable.
Echoing the sentiments of other European politicians in recent years, Asselborn said Hungary would not receive EU membership today if it tried to join the European politico-economic union.
Szijjártó fires back
In true Hungarian style, foreign minister Péter Szijjártó made the following points in response, according to a statement released on the Hungarian government’s website:
- “We have known all along that Jean Asselborn is not a serious person.”
- It is clear that Jean Asselborn lives only a few kilometers from Brussels.
- Asselborn is a “lecturing, pompous, and frustrated” person.
- Asselborn may want to kick Hungary out of the EU, but “he long ago excluded himself from the group of politicians that can be taken seriously.”
- Asselborn is a “regular nihilist” who is tirelessly working to destroy Europe’s security and culture.
- Hungary is the historical protector of Europe, and that is what it is doing today.
- Hungarians, on October 2nd, will make a decision about illegal immigration, the Brussels quota package, and about “people like Jean Asselborn” — and all that is evidence of the rule of law in Hungary.