During a speech on “rising xenophobia” in Europe Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein singled out Prime Minister Viktor Orban, but he Hungarian government blasted Zeid’s comments as “unacceptable” and “inappropriate”.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights riled against a speech that Orban gave on February 8 when he said Hungary does not “want to be a multi-ethnic country” citing the huge societal problems currently facing Germany with the lack of integration.
“We don’t see these people as Muslim refugees. We see them as Muslim invaders,” Orban had told German daily Bild newspaper. He added: “We believe that a large number of Muslims inevitably leads to parallel societies, because Christian and Muslim society will never unite.” Multiculturalism, he said, “was only an illusion”.
Despite Germany’s booming economy, most Germans are not particularly wealthy. The Hans-Böckler-Stiftung has warned that the danger of poverty in Germany is so high that measures should be taken to avoid a looming crisis. Germany has been spending vast amounts of money on settling migrants in the country which is driving down wages.
According to an evaluation by the Federal Employment Agency, more than two thirds of German employees who work in restaurants, hairdressing salons and in the temporary employment sector are now working on a low wage despite full-time jobs. So they earn less than two-thirds of the median income in Germany.
Wages are being driven lower still by the migrant influx, but the Jordanian UN diplomat complained at the opening of the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva about Hungary’s “xenophobes” instead.
“Xenophobes and racists in Europe are casting off any sense of embarrassment — like Hungary’s Viktor Orban who earlier this month said ‘we do not want our color … to be mixed in with others’.
“Do they not know what happens to minorities in societies where leaders seek ethnic, national or racial purity?” Zeid asked.
The UN rights chief even “accused Hungary [of being] comparable to the worst dictatorships of the last century”.
Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto expressed his indignation over the comments. He told the gathering in Geneva that it was “obvious that Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein must step down. He is unworthy of his position”.
Zeid had not remained in the room to listen to the response to his comments from member countries. He simply walked out after his incendiary remarks.
“It is very inappropriate that UN officials accuse member states and democratically elected leaders,” Szijjarto said, insisting that “this is simply unacceptable”.
Hungary’s top diplomat repeated that migration was a dangerous trend that needed to be stopped because it carried the danger of terrorism while threatening Hungary’s cultural identity. Szijjarto said: “Violating borders must be considered as crime and must be sanctioned.”
In the face of steadily declining German pension levels, experts have meanwhile warned of a ticking time bomb: “If on the one hand we have the lowering of the pension level and, on the other hand, asset poverty in the lower middle class, then we get great social problems,” an researcher from the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung pointed out.
In Hungary, ING Bank chief analyst Peter Virovacz noted that his country’s labour market was close to reaching full employment. He put the year-end unemployment rate around 3.6 percent.
Commenting on the data, Hungarian Economy Minister Mihály Varga told public television that more Hungarians working abroad were returning home, drawn back by higher wages.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has previously singled out European anti-globalist leaders, including Geert Wilders, the leader of the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, Marine Le Pen, the head of the National Front in France – along with Donald Trump and Nigel Farage.
All were “demagogues and political fantasists”, said Hussein, who shared the “tactics of the Islamic State”.
He projected his identity crisis onto conservative leaders, saying: “To them, I must be a sort of nightmare. I am a Muslim who is, confusingly to racists, also white-skinned; whose mother is European and father, Arab. And I am angry, too.”