Hungary has blasted the European Commission for launching legal action against Budapest over an "anti-paedophilia" law, seen as discriminating against the LGBTQ community.
"If the European Union wants to interfere in matters and laws covered by the constitutions of other countries, that could shatter the entire EU," said Prime Minister Viktor Orban's cabinet chief Gergely Gulyas in Budapest.
According to the commission's infringement procedure against Hungary over its so-called "anti-paedophilia" law, the bill breaks EU rules on rights to freedom of expression, as well as free trade and provision of services.
But Mr Gulyas told a press briefing that the law concerned a national jurisdiction that the EU "clearly has no say in", and that its reasoning for the legal action was "more political than legal".
"We don't see any infringements on freedom of trade for example, these are absurd things. Absolutely fishy arguments," Mr Gulyas told reporters.
"Political motivations are presumably behind the attacks from Brussels," he added.
The Hungarian law, which includes a ban on the "depiction or promotion" of homosexuality and gender reassignment to under-18s, came into force last week, despite many warnings from Brussels and pushback by EU leaders.
The legislation was billed by Budapest as a way to protect children, but opponents argue that it conflates paedophilia with homosexuality and stigmatises the LGBTQ community.
EU commission chief Ursula von der Leyen has called the bill a "disgrace" and said that the EU executive would use "all powers available" to force Hungary to repeal or modify the law.
An infringement procedure involves several steps and could drag out over years to ultimately go to the European Court of Justice, which could impose financial penalties.
Hungary now has two months to respond to the arguments put forward by the commission before the procedure enters the next stage.
Mr Gulyas also accused Brussels of holding off on its approval of Hungary's Covid recovery plan because of its opposition to the anti-LGBTQ law.
He also said that while Hungary would like to support the EU's vast "Fit for 55" climate plan unveiled Wednesday, it plans to veto the proposal as it is "unacceptable in this form".
The package of climate measures would "shift the cost of reducing emissions to home and car owners," said Mr Gulyas.