Stop ‘Bashing’ Trump, Hungary Warns EU

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DANNY GYS/AFP/Getty

Hungary’s foreign minister has warned the European Union (EU) to stop “bashing” President Donald J. Trump’s administration, saying it will only backfire on European countries.

“I always urge our friends in the European Union not to play this new sport art which is created which is called bashing [the] United States, you know, because the more our European friends bash the U.S., the more negative impact they will cause with that,” Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó told CNBC at the annual forum of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris on Thursday.

Mr. Szijjártó’s comments were in relation to the White House putting into effect import tariffs on steel (25 per cent) and aluminium (10 per cent) on the EU, Mexico, and Canada earlier in the day.

The EU promised retaliatory measures and to take the United States to the World Trade Organization (WTO) trade court to have his policies declared illegal — despite having levied heavy tariffs on U.S. goods for years before President Trump proposed measures to protect American metalworkers.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is a supporter of President Trump, calling his election victory in 2016 “great news” and declaring: “Democracy is still alive.”

Likewise, President Trump has praised the conservative Hungarian.

Szijjártó described to CNBC how in a recent meeting in Washington, D.C., he told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “we have never been part of the U.S. bashing chorus in Europe”.

“[President Trump] definitely represents an honest, straightforward way of communication,” Szijjártó said.

“He definitely gets rid of hypocrisy and political correctness, but I think the bashing of him and the United States was too much. So what I think is that we need to re-engage in a dialogue with the United States. We should foster, strengthen this dialogue in order to avoid harmful situations.”

The Fidesz-KDNP government won a two-thirds majority in parliamentary elections on April 8th, and ran on a patriotic platform of sovereignty, protecting the country’s borders, and stopping intervention large, foreign NGOs — notably those funded by billionaire speculator George Soros — from facilitating illegal immigration, handing Prime Minister Orbán his third consecutive term in office.

Orbán rejected the EU’s progressive, open borders ideology and shut the gates of Hungary during the height of the migrant crisis by erecting a border wall and increasing the number of border guards.

Both detractors and supporters of President Trump and Prime Minister Orbán see parallels in their patriotic approach to illegal immigration and national security.

Mr. Szijjártó also told CNBC that future European elections will be about migration, as in Hungary.

“If you put into consideration the last three national parliamentary elections of Europe — Hungary, Austria, Italy — you’ll see that the parties that receive the most votes … [are] those who have a very clear policy on migration, an anti-migration policy,” he said.

“It’s obvious that migration became the key factor of deciding the outcome of national parliamentary elections.”

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