Monday, October 11, 2021

Hungary responds to Netherlands cutting funding over organization supporting anti-LGBTI groups

Hungary’s foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, responded on Tuesday to a Dutch vote that would cut funding for the Hungarian government over its participation in a General Assembly in May that featured a platform for anti-LGBTI rights groups to show off their work to the world.

“Of course, this blackmail is a terrible idea. This comes from the Netherlands and our Hungarian partners,” Szijjarto said in an interview with the state news agency MTI. “But of course this is something that we will deal with, but it comes from the Netherlands, and we will deal with that.”

Szijjarto’s office echoed his statement on Facebook, tweeting “Hate is incompatible with the values of EU” and “It’s not a state which aims to inflict its own values on other members, it’s a state which aims to bring its own values to other member states.”

The Dutch parliament voted on Monday in favor of an amendment that would remove money for the Foundation for Fundamental Rights – which funds hate groups and hosts their international conferences – from the country’s development and migration budget.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok echoed Hungary’s analysis during a news conference Monday: “It’s an obvious blackmail, and I think it’s something we cannot accept,” he said. “This is now an individual issue for the Dutch government.”

An Estonian Green Party representative named Hartmut Lob told BuzzFeed that the Dutch initiative targets Hungary’s “racist, homophobic and anti-trans ideology,” and called the vote “a worthy precedent for other countries to follow.”

“Unfortunately, denying money to groups [promoting] justice and equality isn’t just about Hungary, but also about countries like Russia and Uganda,” Lob wrote on Facebook.

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