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September 14, 2018 12:00 am | FILED UNDER: europe

Hamacek: EP Vote Was No Trial Of Hungary

By ČTK Viktor Orban

Prague, Sept 14 (CTK) – The EP’s Wednesday vote was no trial of Hungary nor did it have anything to do with its approach to migration, Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamacek, who is also acting foreign minister, said today, adding that he, too, feels concerned by some of Hungarian PM Viktor Orban’s steps.

 

Hamacek, chairman of the junior government Social Democrats (CSSD), said he would not address the CSSD MEPs, who split in their positions in the EP vote, to discuss their way of voting.

 

“It was no trial of Hungary over its positions to the migrant crisis,” Hamacek said, referring to the vote in which the EP recommended that the EU launch a sanction procedure against Hungary over its serious threat to EU values.

 

“In the vote, MEPs expressed their political view of the current situation in Hungary,” Hamacek said.

 

He said the vote’s result is a signal showing European countries’ concern about the steps taken by Orban’s cabinet.

 

“I, too, feel concerned about some of Viktor Orban’s steps, such as those taken towards courts and independent media,” Hamacek said.

 

He recalled that the Hungarian Socialist Party, which is the CSSD’s partner in the country, has been in opposition and is very critical of Orban’s government.

 

“I feel understanding for the decision of the MEPs who [recommended] the launch of the [anti-Hungary] procedure,” Hamacek said.

 

Out of the four MEPs elected for the CSSD, the EP’s recommendation was supported by Miroslav Poche, whom the CSSD wants to be Czech foreign minister but President Milos Zeman refuses to appoint him.

 

CSSD MEP Jan Keller voted against the proposal, Petr Poc abstained from the vote and Olga Sehnalova did not take part in it.

 

The CSSD did not bind its MEPs to vote in a certain way, Hamacek said, adding that he would not discuss their way of voting with them.

 

He alluded to PM and ANO leader Andrej Babis, who said on Thursday he would discuss the way of voting with the two ANO MEPs, who supported the recommendation, which Babis considers unnecessary.

 

Hamacek said the EP vote means only the launch of the procedure and it is not sure how it will end.

 

If the things went as far as to the European Council’s vote on the suspension of Hungary’s rights in the EU, this would require an unanimous consent from all remaining members.

 

If such a vote were taken, Prague would formulate its position, Hamacek said. Referring to Poche, he dismissed that the Czech position could be defined based on only one MEP’s opinion.

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