Hungary’s Viktor Orban has accused the European Union of engaging in an “ideological war” after the bloc sought to delay talks over his country’s recovery plan, amid ongoing disagreement about Budapest’s new anti-LGBTQ+ law.
Speaking on Friday, Hungary’s prime minister accused the EU of delaying finalizing the country’s pandemic recovery plan, due to ongoing row about the member state’s recently implemented anti-LGBTQ+ law, titled the Children Protection Act.
“The way I see it now is that the EU will seek a two-month delay in the resumption of talks [over the recovery plan], but this calls into question the very essence of the fund,” Orban stated.
The EU has claimed that Hungary’s recovery plan is under evaluation after concerns were raised about systemic problems with the rule of law within the country, and with potential corruption. However, Orban denounced this as being just a “cover story” to allow the bloc to pursue an “ideological war” against his country.
“Corruption is often cited as an issue, but we were already close to an agreement. All of a sudden, after approving the law about the protection of children, we became very corrupt,” the premier said during an interview.
If Hungary’s post-pandemic recovery plan is approved, it would be in line to receive €7.2 billion ($8.47 billion) in grants from the EU.
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The Children Protection Act was implemented by the Hungarian government to officially safeguard children’s welfare and to tackle pedophilia, but has been condemned by the EU and rights groups for discriminating against LGBTQ+ individuals.
In response to the law, the EU launched legal action against Hungary, accusing it of being in contravention of Article 21 of the bloc’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, which states that “stigmatizing LGBTIQ persons constitutes a clear breach of their fundamental right to dignity.”
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