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Hungarian President Viktor Orban speaks in Romania
Orban's comments against people of a 'mixed-race' have been criticized a former top advisor, Jewish groups, Romania's foreign minister, and now a European Commission official, though he neglected to call out Orban by nameImage: Szilard Koszticsak/dpa/MTI/AP/picture alliance

EU official rebukes Orban's 'mixed-race' words

July 27, 2022

A recent statement by Hungarian President Viktor Orban decrying a "mixed-race" world drew a fresh rebuke. European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas criticized the "hatred" behind such words.


A top EU official on Wednesday denounced comments made over the weekend by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban about the world becoming "mixed-race" as a result of immigration and amorous relations between individuals.

The European Commission vice president Margaritis Schinas wrote on Twitter: "Hatred has no place on our lips nor in our societies." 

Schinas did not, however, mention Orban by name. The Hungarian prime minister made his comments in a speech at an annual forum in Romania.

Days after Orban made his comments, a more formal rebuke from EU institutions has not been on offer. A spokesperson for the European Commission told AFP news agency that as policy it did not comment on the statements of European officials.

What did Orban say?

Before a crowd of his supporters on Saturday, Orban said: "There is a world in which European peoples are mixed together with those arriving from outside Europe. Now that is a mixed-race world."

Orban, known for his far-right views and anti-democratic tendencies, expressed displeasure with the development. He added that Hungarians and other people from the Carpathian Basin in Central Europe are "willing to mix with one another, but we do not want to become peoples of mixed-race."

The Hungarian prime minister also used the speech to rail against the European Union's sanctions on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine. He criticized the West for not addressing Moscow's stated concerns prior to the onset of open armed conflict.

Hungary blocks finalization of EU sanctions package – DW's Christine Mhundwa reports

Orban was critical of EU plans to call for a reduction of 15% in gas consumption, making a backhanded reference to Nazi Germany's use of gas chambers as a tool of mass murder.

"I do not see how it will be enforced — although, as I understand it, the past shows us German know-how on that," he said.

Germany is heavily dependent on Russian gas for household and industrial use and is set to be affected dramatically by any shortage or downturn in supplies.

What has been the reaction to Orban's comments?

A longtime Orban adviser, Zsuzsa Hegedus, resigned on Tuesday in the aftermath of the fallout from the prime minister's words, calling the speech "a pure Nazi text."

In response to her resignation and years of service to his government, Orban said: "You cannot seriously accuse me of racism after 20 years of collaboration."

Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu also denounced the comments.

The International Auschwitz Committee labeled Orban's speech "hateful and dangerous" and called on the European Union "to make it clear to the world that a Mr. Orban has no future in Europe."

That organization's vice president, Christoph Heubner, called on Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer to take a stand against such hate speech when Orban is on an official visit to Vienna Thursday.

Hungarian government spokesperson Zoltan Kovacs said Orban's speech was "misinterpreted" and its racist implications were far more narrowly focused than his critics charge.

Kovacs argued that Orban's critics "clearly don't understand the difference between the mixing of different ethnic groups that all originate in the Judeo-Christian cultural sphere, and the mixing of peoples from different civilizations."

ar/msh (AFP, dpa)