Hungary says it will challenge European parliament's ruling

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto holds a news conference on today's European Parliament vote to start an EU punitive procedure against Hungary for persistently flouting democratic rules, in Budapest, Hungary September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - The European Union parliament’s decision on Wednesday to start a punitive procedure against Hungary is the “petty revenge” of pro-immigration politicians against Hungary, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Wednesday.

Szijjarto also said Hungary would seek legal ways to challenge the ruling as abstaining votes were not counted, and this, he said, changed the outcome of the vote.

“Today’s European Parliament decision was nothing else but a petty revenge of pro-immigration politicians against Hungary,” Szijjarto said. “The decision was made in a fraudulent way, and contrary to relevant rules in European treaties.”

Reporting by Krisztina Than and Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg