Szijjártó: Hungarian families are man, woman and children

Int’l Relations

Foreign Trade State Secretary Péter Szijjártó has returned from Israel after two days’ worth of meetings there late last week. Aside from meeting with the usual ministers and business leaders, Szijjártó gave an interview to the Jerusalem Post in which he displayed remarkable frankness not only on the sitting government’s desire to diverge from the European Union, but also on Hungary’s standing as a “family values”-first nation with regard to, for example, gay marriage.

Unsurprisingly, Szijjártó touted his ministry’s Eastward-facing import/export strategy, informing the Post that Hungary “could be a Central European distribution hub for Israeli gas, and [we hope to learn] about your export strategy as soon as possible.” As part of the official visit, Szijjártó met with Israel Finance Minister Yair Lapid, reportedly offering access to Hungary’s 7 billion cubic meters of state-owned gas storage.

“Hungary is very dependent on Russian gas. We heat 80% of our houses with gas and import 90% of our gas from Russia,” said Szijjártó. “Being so dependent means that you’re quite defenseless.”

In the Post interview, the state secretary emphasized Hungary’s outsider stance on subjects such as the country’s goal to increase nuclear power supply to 70% of all electricity used in the country in defiance of trends in European Union member states and, according to the ‘paper, “while the EU pushed a platform of human rights and diversity, Hungary was forcefully embracing its Christian heritage.”

From this point, Szijjártó got philosophical on the underpinnings of the current economic crisis in the EU, blaming it on “a crisis of values, which is more serious. “In Europe if you say you are proud to be Christians, it is not the mainstream. When you speak about family, they tell you have to say ‘families,’ because there is more than one type of family. We say that there should be a husband who is a man[, a] wife who is a woman and children.”

When called on his stance, Szijjártó argued that “Hungarians are an open people and friendly to foreigners, so if someone wants to come and enjoy life they can” and that “Gay couples could register their partnership and receive legal benefits without getting married.”

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