“We cannot export democracy, we cannot export human rights and be the beacon of common values that we want the rest of the world to embrace, if we do not apply these principles amongst ourselves”, stressed Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, speaking on the controversial issue of human rights and the rule of law in Hungary. Mr. Varvitsiotis made this statement in an interview with the European online magazine Politico.eu and journalist Lili Bayer, on the sidelines of the European Council of June 24-25, in which he participated, accompanying Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
At the same time Mr. Varvitsiotis pointed out that he had the opportunity, during the recent EU General Affairs Council, held Tuesday, June 22, to voice his concerns both over the recent bill in Hungary that is directed against the rights of the LGBTQI+ community, and the issues of political corruption, freedom of the press and judicial independence in the country. As he mentioned, when he asked what steps Hungary intends to take to address criticism from its European counterparts, the unwillingness to provide a reply on the substance was “something that really stunned me”.
In fact, the Alternate Minister noted that Hungary rejected any criticism as “blackmail against the Hungarian government, which was not a constructive position and attitude”, while “actually did not respond” to any of the criticisms directed at it. As a result of this attitude of Hungary, Greece signed the statement condemning the controversial bill of the Hungarian government which is directed against the rights of the LGBTQI+ community. Mr. Varvitsiotis did not fail to point out that the recalcitrant attitude of Hungary has a negative impact on the overall image of the EU.