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27th June, 2018

Szijjártó faces BBC grilling

BBC NewsNight reporter Emily Maitlis closely questioned Foreign Affairs Minister Péter Szijjártó about the Hungarian government policy towards asylum-seekers when he appeared as a guest on Monday evening.

Stating that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has likened migration to a flu epidemic, has called migrants “Muslim invaders” and potential terrorists, Maitlis said “this isn’t about immigration is it? It’s about xenophobia,” Szijjártó said he took that as an insult and requested respect for Hungarians.

“Yes, it is our intention to keep Hungary a Hungarian country and, yes we do not agree with those who say multiculturalism is by definition good”.

Asked whether he agreed with the “Muslim invaders” term, Szijjártó said he stands by everything that his prime minister says.

When Maitlis described Hungary’s anti-migrant bill as inconsistent with tolerance, diversity and human rights, Szijjártó denied that the laws violate EU values.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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