McCain remarks 'attack' on Hungary's independence

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Friday slammed comments by US senator John McCain likening him to a "neo-fascist dictator," saying they were an attack on the nation's independence.

McCain's comments, made on Tuesday in the US senate, were an "extreme provocation," Orban said in an interview with state radio Kossuth.

"Hungary's national independence is under attack here," the controversial prime minister went on to say, adding that his country's energy, financial and trade independence was "not liked" by many who profited from the country before he came to power.

Orban, who has governed Hungary with a constitution-changing majority since 2010, has regularly lashed out at what he sees as outside attacks on his country -- from foreign banks, the European Union or human rights groups that have criticised his policies as attempts to muzzle the media and curb the independence of the judiciary.

US-Hungary relations have meanwhile been worsening since US President Barack Obama in September criticised Budapest's moves against civil society, and Washington banned the entry of six Hungarian officials for alleged corruption.

Budapest summoned the US envoy to protest this week after McCain described Hungary as "a nation that is on the verge of ceding its sovereignty to a neo-fascist dictator getting in bed with (Russian President) Vladimir Putin."