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Guardian stands by its story on PM

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The Guardian today rejected a government spokespersonʼs claim of “untrue statements” in an article reporting that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán suggested reconsidering the death penalty and that he equated migrants with terrorists. “We have not received any legal complaints about the article in question and we stand by our reporting,” a Guardian spokesperson said.

The Guardian article, published yesterday, begins as follows: “Hungary’s nationalist rightwing leader, Viktor Orbán, has threatened to reintroduce the death penalty, outlawed in the European Union. The prime minister also reinforced his reputation as the EU’s main maverick with a powerful anti-immigration manifesto that equates migrants with terrorists, says immigrants are taking Hungarians’ jobs, recommends internment camps for illegal immigrants and states they should be forced to work.”

Government spokesperson Zoltán Kovács told MTI late yesterday that the government will take “the necessary steps” against The Guardian for what he said were untrue statements.

Orbánʼs remarks on the death penalty and migrants have been widely published.

Kovács said that the statements made by the paper “consciously misinterpret the words of the prime minister”. According to Kovács, it is not the Hungarian politicians who want to keep the issue of the death penalty on the agenda but “Hungarian citizens and voters”. If citizens talk about the matter then the Hungarian politicians need to talk about it as well, he said. “Regardless, we abide by the international laws”, Kovács added.

As for The Guardian, Kovács said that it is not the first time “in the paper’s history” that it has published “untrue and radical accusations towards the Hungarian government”, and so the government will take all neccessary measures.

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