Tuesday 03 August 2021

Hungary has no place in the EU with its anti-gay laws, says Rutte

Mark Rutte ahead of the talks. Photo: EU video screen shot

Prime minister Mark Rutte has said he would like to see Hungary expelled from the EU if it continues to go against EU values as it has with new legislation on homosexuality.

If they refuse to withdraw the legislation, ‘then as far as I am concerned, then there is nothing left for them in the EU,’ he said ahead of Thursday’s European summit.

Rutte was referring to Hungary’s controversial new laws which it says are to ban the promotion of homosexuality and gender realignment surgery to the under-18s, but in fact ally homosexuality with paedophilia.

The EU has no powers to intervene in Hungary’s own national laws but can start legal proceedings, Rutte said.

‘This is such a fundamental point, that if we let that go, we are nothing more than a trading block and a currency,’ Rutte said.

The gay-free zones in Poland are also an issue which needs to be tackled, he told reporters. ‘There are too many of these sort of issues emerging,’ he said. ‘I never thought that when I got this job (the premiership) 11 years ago, that we would be having these discussions about such fundamental values,’ he said.

Russia

Rutte also said he is not keen on European summit with Russia, as mooted by Germany and France. ‘Not when I am there at least,’ Rutte told reporters.

European leaders are expected to discuss the tense relationship between the EU and Vladimir Putin on Thursday evening. France and Germany are both keen on a more formal meeting with the Russian leader, which German chancellor Angela Merkel hopes will improve the situation.

But the MH17 issue is an important reason for the Netherlands not to be in the same room as Putin, commentators say. Russia denies any involvement in the shooting down of the passenger jet over eastern Ukraine in July 2014 and has refused to cooperate with the Dutch investigation.

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