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Interview with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó

2020-04-03

Interview with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó

2020-04-03
As we record this show there are over a million confirmed Covid-19 cases and more than 50,000 deaths attributed to the disease worldwide. But the virus itself isn’t the only concern. Another is the draconian powers many governments are giving themselves in the name of fighting the pandemic. On Monday, Hungary’s parliament passed an “anti-coronavirus defence law” that gives Prime Minister Viktor Orban the power to rule by decree indefinitely. Only he can declare the emergency to be over, and until he does so, there will be no elections. The law criminalises any action the government considers a hindrance to its anti-virus efforts and introduces jail terms of up to five years for anyone spreading “falsehoods” about the virus. European Commission Chief, Ursula von der Leyen warned on Tuesday that, “Any emergency measures must be limited to what is necessary and strictly proportionate. They must not last indefinitely.” Hungary responded by saying that criticisms of its actions are part of a “political witch hunt” against the country. Viktor Orban does not believe in liberal democracy preferring what he calls, “illiberal democracy”. His critics say this refers to a semi-authoritarian state.
In mid-January, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó visited Hong Kong. We spoke to him.

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