Hungary's Prime Minister: Orban wants to stop the "decline of Europe"

TIME ONLINE | News, backgrounds and debates


Budapest (dpa) - A few days before the possible exclusion of his Fidezs party from the European People's Party (EPP), the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has reaffirmed his EU-skeptical attitude.

"We want strong nation-states, and we want to see strong leaders at the top of Europe," he said in a National Day speech. "We will stop the decline of Europe so that Europe will once again belong to the Europeans," he added.

In front of thousands of supporters in the center of Budapest, he avoided overtly attacking the European Union (EU) or naming European politicians he did not esteem. "Take note: in a liberal European empire, we lose all our freedom," he called out to the crowd more generally.

Recently, an anti-Brussels billboard campaign by the Orban government has caused resentment in the EPP. This defamed the EPP European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the liberal US investor George Soros with false claims about migration. Also, the name of Soros Orban mentioned on Friday not.

The Holocaust survivor originating from Hungary has orphaned Orban because of its support of government-critical associations to a public enemy, who wanted to flood Europe with Muslim migrants. The Central European University (CEU), founded by Soros, is forced by laws of the Orban government to gradually move its operations from Budapest to Vienna. The fate of the CEU is one of the unsolved issues in the conflict between Orban and the EPP.

The EPP Confederation of European Conservative Parties also includes the CDU and CSU. 13 member parties are currently calling for the expulsion of the Fidesz party. The EPP Bureau wants to decide on it next Wednesday in Brussels.

Observers in Budapest found Orban's speech on March 15 rather reluctant. In previous speeches on this holiday, he had called "Brussels" - that is, the EU - "second Moscow", that is, equated with the totalitarian former Soviet Union. "Before the expulsion procedure in the EPP, the prime minister obviously did not want to put oil in the fire," commentators of the news portal "atv.hu" wrote.

On March 15 Hungary commemorates the outbreak of the revolt against the Habsburgs of 1848-49. Apart from Orban, his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki also spoke at the ceremony on Friday. The nations of Hungary and Poland, who had been friends for more than 1,000 years, would "fight for a better Europe," he said.

Hungary and Poland are mutually supportive of each other in order to render ineffective the rule of law procedure in the EU against both countries because of the dismantling of democracy. The Polish governing party PiS (Law and Justice) belongs in the European Parliament not to the EPP Group but to the EU-skeptical ECR Group.

A week ago, Orban announced in a radio interview that Fidesz, a far-right national body, would enter into an alliance with the PiS if it left the EPP.

The conservative Lithuanian party Homeland Union does not see the problems in the EPP with Hungary's head of government Viktor Orban after its apology. "In my opinion, the European People's Party must make a decision on Hungary, because the persistent resignation with populists within the party touched other parties in the family," said party boss Gabrielius Landsbergis the agency BNS on Friday in Vilnius. He continues to argue for the exclusion or temporary suspension of Fidesz. He also plans to represent this position at the EPP Group meeting next week, Landsbergis said.

Orbans speech according to government website, Ung.

Analysis at atv.hu, Ung.

REF: https://www.zeit.de/news/2019-03/15/orban-will-weiter-den-niedergang-europas-aufhalten-190315-99-403400