'Enough interference on Salis', Hungary freezes Rome


'Enough interference on Salis', Hungary freezes Rome

New political-diplomatic clash along the Budapest-Rome axis on the legal case of Ilaria Salis, the 39-year-old teacher detained in Hungary since 11 February 2023 on charges of aggravated assault against some right-wing extremists. The dust was sparked by a very serious message released by the Hungarian government in which Giorgia Meloni's executive was explicitly accused of wanting to unduly influence the progress of the trial: “It is surprising that Italy is trying to interfere in a Hungarian judicial case”, he wrote Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó took to social media immediately after meeting the head of the Farnesina, Antonio Tajani. An attack fully endorsed by Viktor Orban, given that it was published by the X account of his spokesperson, Zoltan Kovacs.

“This lady – Szijjártó insisted – presented as a martyr in Italy, came to Hungary with a clear plan to attack innocent people on the streets as part of a radical left-wing organization. I sincerely hope that she receives the deserved punishment in Hungary” . Clear and completely unexpected words that provoked a firm reaction from the Farnesina. On Rome's part, a statement reads, there is “no desire for interference, but a clear intention to put pressure to verify that the conditions of detention comply with European regulations which call for the protection of human rights”. During the meeting, the Farnesina said, Tajani gave the Hungarian minister “a new, detailed memorandum on the detention conditions of his compatriot, highlighting the need for a fair trial and to ensure the dignity and fundamental rights of Mrs. Salis, in whose case the commitment of the Italian embassy in Budapest is constant”.

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The meeting, as far as we know, took place in an atmosphere of substantial cordiality, with nothing to suggest the subsequent Hungarian reaction. Upon delivery of the memo, the Hungarian minister simply reported that the issue, even in Budapest, has taken on significant political value in recent weeks. Nothing more. Hence the suspicion that his reaction had already been planned. The back and forth has reignited the political conflict over the Salis affair. “I hope that Tajani – attacked the leader of the Italian Left Nicola Fratoianni – will let the Hungarian friends of Meloni and Salvini know that asking for respect for human civil rights does not mean interference. If the Orban government is allergic to the rules of civil life , can always leave the EU in which it sits unworthily.” The Democratic Party is also clear. “Based on the words of the Hungarian minister, Ilaria Salis is to be considered guilty even before a sentence is issued”, commented the dem Tatjana Rojc. For Debora Serracchiani, Szijjártó's words are “unacceptable”. Finally Lia Quartapelle, very critical of the head of the Farnesina: “She agreed with the expulsion of Orban's party from the EPP and now she is being rebuked by one of her ministers. A profound involution from Tajani”.

Roberto Salis, Ilaria's father, also reacted furiously to the words with which the Hungarian minister defined his daughter: “We have to ask him what he means by 'martyr', if he means a person tortured for 35 days, Ilaria is certainly a martyr”. Meanwhile, in the next hearing brought forward to March 28, the lawyer will ask for house arrest in Hungary, as announced in recent days, a necessary step to possibly obtain it in Italy. The Salis family said they had found a “solution” in Budapest. “Ilaria is a strong person – said the father -. Two days ago I was informed by the Arci di Sieci, near Florence, that on May 1st my daughter will receive the silver mimosa”.

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