Zoltán Kovács, state secretary for international communications, says police at the recent demonstrations in Hungary gave a markedly muted response to the protests considering how opposition MPs and political activists “attacked” them and public institutions.
Kovács told MTI by phone from Paris that he and Szabolcs Takács, the state secretary for European Union affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office, had addressed a press event there, discussing the context of the recent events in Hungary. Kovács said western European media had attempted to portray the demonstrations — which he said had clearly been initiated by opposition lawmakers and political activists — “as if something completely different were going on in the country”.
The state secretary said he and Takács had told journalists that the demonstrations were political in nature and could also be linked to NGOs with ties to the “Soros network”.
Contrary to how western European media outlets were trying to portray the demonstrations — implying that police had used excessive force against the protesters — the authorities “actually gave a very muted response” considering that the opposition lawmakers and political activists “attacked” them and public institutions, Kovács said.
The state secretary said the media outlets in question were applying double standards in their portrayal of the protests. He cited the example of the “claim” that the demonstrations are about the amendment to the labour code, saying that Dutch Green MEP Judith Sargentini had raised the issue of human rights in recent days, when the upper threshold for annual overtime in the Netherlands is the European maximum of 416 hours, 16 hours more than the upper threshold in the Hungarian amendment.
Takács said Hungary has had to endure a “systematic attack on its reputation” for eight years, the most notable example of which has been the Sargentini report, the resolution resulting from it and the events that have followed its approval by the European Parliament.