BUDAPEST, Hungary – A minute-long message on a German television station aimed at children has drawn the ire of the Hungarian government for criticism of recent changes made to the Hungarian constitution and allegations that the government only wants good press about itself.
Hungary was considering appeals to German or international institutions about the animated clip “A red card for Hungary,” government spokesman Ferenc Kumin said Friday.
The clip on Kika, a public-service broadcaster, also says Hungary’s politicians sometimes fail to respect European Union laws and the country could be fined by the 27-nation bloc for its transgressions.
It also mentions government steps to curtail the powers of the constitutional Court and claims journalists are not allowed to work freely.
To comply with EU demands, Hungary has amended some of its legislation, for example, on the media and the central bank, but critics claim the changes were only superficial.
The fourth amendment to the new constitution includes legislation earlier struck down as unconstitutional by the country’s highest court and prevents the president from reviewing amendments approved by parliament other than for procedural errors.
Hungary’s Foreign Ministry said the clip “presented falsehoods about Hungary and disregarded the facts” and it was “particularly worrying if even children are misled by false information.”
The EU, the United States and others have expressed concerns over efforts by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government to centralize power and weaken democratic checks and balances.