Velzen, has condemned the growing support for the "anti Semitic" Hungarian Justice and Life Party (MIEP), ahead of next years elections. Speaking in an interview with BosNewsLife, Van Velzen said he had "personally talked about MIEP " with Hungary’s conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
There has been international concern that Orban may seek a coalition with MIEP, or move further towards the extreme right, as part of his re-election bid. "I don’t think that Orban is moving towards the right," Van Velzen said at a Christian Democratic gathering in Budapest that ended Friday, November 9.
But Van Velzen, who is also a Dutch Christian Democratic Euro-lawmaker, warned that "ofcourse there can be no co-operation with MIEP," and the EPP-ED, the largest political group in the European Parliament.
ANTI SEMITIC DISCOURSE
In his Parliamentary speeches, MIEP-President Istvan Csurka reaches conclusions that hint at a world-wide conspiracy of "International Jews" and Hungarian "communist Jews", according to the report Anti-Semitic Discourse in Hungary 2000.
The report, published by Hungarian members of the Jewish organization B’nai B’rith ("Sons of the Covenant") also cites the growing media influence of MIEP, a party even supported by some church leaders.
Anti-Semitism remains a sensitive topic in Hungary, which was for the most part of World War Two a close ally of Nazi Germany when about 600,000 Hungarian Jews were killed. Although Van Velzen suggested he agreed with the concerns about MIEP he also "understood Orban’s efforts to preserve the Hungarian identity" at a time when the country prepares to join the European Union.
"You have to understand that Hungary lost two thirds of its territory in 1920," Van Velzen said. It is seen as one of the reasons why Hungary’s Parliament adopted a controversial law that will allow millions of ethnic Hungarians living in neighbouring countries to enjoy social benefits from January 1 next year.
The so called Status Law allows ethnic Hungarians to work three months per year in Hungary legally, as well as free education at universities and other training. Government leaders in Romania and Slovakia as well as representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have suggested that this may lead to new ethnic tensions in the region.
However Van Velzen told BosNewsLife that he supports the law because "three million Hungarians, three million Hungarians," live in countries such as Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. "Imagine what a problems there would be if they all were to emigrate to Hungary…So therefore I understand that the Government wants to give them better prospects so they see no reason to leave their countries."
Critics, including several opposition politicians have argued that the Status Law may put new strains on the budget. Analysts point out that Hungary is already suffering under a drop of foreign investments and other social tensions.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban, recently urged "especially young Christians" to help his country to overcome its Communist past and the new era’s social challenges.