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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in his weekly public radio interview that sex education was a matter for parents and this, he added, was “confirmed by European documents”. Children can participate in sex education with the agreement of the parent, but no one except the teacher and people approved by the principal can do so, he noted. “We feel they want to take our children away from us,” Orbán said. Orbán noted that he had not been invited to the debate in the European Parliament as was his wont when the situation was “crucial”. He said the issue wasn’t just a Hungarian one, referring to a similar situation in Italy, Romania and Lithuania. If Lithuania has managed to protect its interests, then Hungary will succeed, too, he said. Noting UEFA’s sanctions against Hungarian football, Orbán said “double standards” had become prevalent in Europe. He said linking EU funds to a legal dispute was “unacceptable” because EU monies were not donations but something Hungarians had worked hard for and had a right to.
Hungary’s recovery programmes, he said, would be launched from the budget even if EU money is unavailable. The language and framework of the debate may appear a legal matter, but the actual matter itself was political, he said, adding that children were “held sacred” in Hungary. “We can’t let sexual propagandists into our schools.” Orbán accused Brussels of abusing its power and “forcing on us what we don’t want”. “Our children and their upbringing is all about their freedom,” he said. Orbán called the European Commission’s standpoint on the matter “shameful” and he accused it of “legal hooliganism”. Both family law and education, he added, were national competences, and Brussels had nothing to do with them. He appealed to Hungarians who “consider the government’s ability to protect the interests of parents as essential” to fill in the National Consultation survey.