„Viktor Orbán has failed, and the Hungarian government is simply not taking care of those Hungarians whose travel options are limited”; István Ujhelyi said at a press conference held on Tuesday in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The MSZP MEP recalled that the regulation on the single EU Digital COVID Certificate came into force in July this year, but it automatically accepts only vaccines authorized by the EU as proof of full vaccination. Ujhelyi stressed that he had already warned the government at the time that they had to act because the freedom of movement of hundreds of thousands of Hungarians to work, study or visit relatives could be jeopardized by the forced use of vaccines from the East, which Ujhelyi claimed had been obtained under suspiciously corrupt circumstances. The MSZP MEP recalled that this summer, together with Fidesz politicians, he voted in favour of the amendments and the final document containing them, which left the door open to the mutual acceptance of unauthorized vaccines between Member States. At the same time, however, Ujhelyi pointed out that the Hungarian government has so far managed to conclude bilateral agreements with only a few countries (only seven EU Member States), such as Cape Verde, Bahrain, Uzbekistan and most recently the Seychelles.
The Socialist MEP criticized Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for not even raising the issue at the European Council meetings, or even trying to get all Member States to accept the eastern vaccines administered to nearly two million Hungarians without restrictions. Ujhelyi cited Germany as an example, where according to the latest decision Hungarians vaccinated with Eastern vaccines alone may be subject to quarantine for several days, but in many other countries relevant and important for Hungarians, Hungarian citizens who have received Chinese or Russian vaccines can only cross the border after expensive PCR tests. The MSZP politician recalled that thanks to his personal intervention, the President of the European Commission has confirmed in writing that the competent Health Security Committee, composed of delegates of the Governments of the Member States, will put on the agenda of its sessions the need for Hungarians who receive an EU approved vaccine as the third vaccine after two from the East to be qualified as fully vaccinated in EU system, but, as Ujhelyi noted, the Hungarian government representative sitting in the committee has not yet formally presented this request.
At the press conference, the Socialist MEP also said that he had heard from reliable sources that some members of the foreign affairs leadership had already secretly taken the fourth vaccination in order to have two EU approved vaccinations and thus not be subject to restrictions. He said that he had submitted a public interest request to the Ministry on this issue, but had still not received a reply after the legal deadline. According to Ujhelyi, the Foreign Ministry is also lying about the refusal of several EU Member States to conclude a bilateral agreement on the acceptance of Eastern vaccinations, „under political pressure from Brussels”; he claimed the reality is that the Hungarian government „messed up”; and has been failing hundreds of thousands of Hungarians ever since.
Budapest – 16/11/2021