Varga opposes death penalty

EU

Hungary’s Minister of National Economy Mihály Varga is against the death penalty, the minister told Hungarian online daily origo.hu in an interview today.

In response to a query on whether Varga would be happy if death penalty was reintroduced in Hungary, the minister said that it “would be strange” to “be happy about the death of someone”. “Life is a one time precious gift, which cannot be taken from someone, nor from ourselves. Therefore, I cannot agree with neither the death penalty, nor euthanasia,” the minister said. Varga added that should a voting take place on the matter in the Hungarian Parliament, he would vote against it.

At the end of April, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said, in reference to the murder that took place in a tobacco shop, that a life sentence is not deterrent enough, as such, the death penalty needs to be kept on the agenda. As the notion of the death penalty collides with EU regulations, the prime minister’s comment triggered a Europe-wide backlash.

Following the PM’s comments, Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, initiated a phone conversation with Orbán. No information has since been made public on whether the conversation between the two took place or not.

Hungary’s Christian democrats KDNP, which is the coalition party of ruling Fidesz, rejected the introduction the death penalty as it is not in line with Christian principles, vice-president Bence Rétvári said earlier.

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