13:34 GMT02 December 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans on Monday urged Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to avoid campaigns that could lead to anti-semitic response citing the campaign against Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros as an example of policy that led to such reaction.

    "Since prime minister Orban is so vocal in saying that he wants to combat anti-semitism… I would call upon him to avoid dog-whistle words, to avoid any form of campaigning that could be seen as implicitly anti-semitic. If that is the impression he wants to avoid, then he should be, I think, clearer in how he operates because clearly some of the campaigns he's been doing have led to anti-Semitic responses in Hungarian society," Frans Timmermans, the first First Vice-President of the European Commission told reporters.

    READ MORE: Budapest Blames Brussels for Censorship After Detention of Anti-Migration Van

    Timmermans pointed out that some of the reactions to the campaign targeting Soros were 'clearly, strongly anti-semitic… although the Hungarian authorities vehemently denied that there's any anti-semitism involved."

    The top official's comment comes after Orban, while on a visit in Israel in July, pledged to pursue a zero tolerance policy with regard to anti-Semitism, although the European Union has criticized Budapest over the so-called Stop Soros law, which banned non-governmental organizations from providing aid to undocumented migrants.

    At the same time, the vice-president and European Commissioner for Justice Vera Jourova were answering the reporters' questions on the recently published survey by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, which found that nine out of 10 Jews in Europe reported the level of anti-semitism had increased in the bloc in the last five years.

    Hungary's Stop Soros legislation takes aim at EU migration regulations and Hungarian-born US billionaire George Soros, who is supporting various NGOs.

    Meanwhile, Soros has stressed that, contrary to Budapest's claims, he did not back unchecked migration and believed the European Union should not pressure its members to accept refugees under a quota system to which a number of countries, including Hungary, have objected.


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