Tensions flare in war of words between German, Hungarian leaders
BERLIN (AP) - Tensions between Germany and Hungary have flared over remarks by the two countries' leaders, including references to Hitler's occupation of the Eastern European country in 1944 and an irritated German government response condemning Hungary's allusion to the Nazi era as a "deplorable derailment" on Monday.
The spat was set off last Thursday, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at an event in Berlin that despite concerns over Hungary's democratic deficits, she would not seek to resolve disagreements by "sending cavalry".
"We will do anything to get Hungary onto the right path - but not by sending the cavalry right away," Dr Merkel said at the Europaforum WDR, an annual meeting of politicians, business leaders and journalists. Germany and the European Union have repeatedly expressed concern over Hungary's constitutional changes, which many have condemned as undemocratic.
However, Dr Merkel's mention of the cavalry was first and foremost a domestic reference to the country's opposition party leader Peer Steinbrueck, who is running against Dr Merkel in Germany's general election in September.