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PM: Vida should sue Goodfriend for libel

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Bristling at being called a "neo-fascist" dictator by a U.S. senator, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán complained today in his regular interview with Kossuth Rádio that Hungary is under attack, and added that he hopes tax chief Vida Ildikó sues American Chargé d’Affaires André Goodfriend for libel.

During the recent Senate debate over the appointment of Colleen Bell as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, Republican Senator John McCain called Orbán a “neo-facsist dictator”, and followed up his remarks yesterday with more criticism of the prime ministerIn his radio interview today, Orbán said that McCain's remarks were part of an attack on Hungary's sovereignty, and he said he will not be distracted by this act of "provocation".

Orbán also said he met with tax chief Ildikó Vida this week and urged her to take legal action against Goodfriend, who implied in a recent interview that he believes Hungarian tax officials are guilty of corruption. While he did not name the officials, Vida has said she is one of the people to whom Goodfriend is referring. Orbán said today that this was “slander, adding that the Hungarian legal system gives every Hungarian citizen the opportunity to defend themselves in a situation like this, and that is what I expect from all the state leaders.”

Regarding plans for the South Stream natural gas pipeline, which was called off by Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Monday due to alleged pressure from the EU, Orbán said that, regardless of the fate of that project, he is adamant about establishing a pipeline that circumvents Ukraine.

When asked how he would respond if Russia also called off a recent agreement to build two new reactors at the nuclear power plant in Paks, Orbán said either party in the agreement had the right to withdraw, but such a withdrawal comes with its own set of consequences.

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