Hungary's ruling Fidesz party declares intent to remain in EPP

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-07 23:51:03|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BUDAPEST, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The Hungarian ruling party Fidesz wants to remain in the European People's Party (EPP) within the European Parliament, Gergely Gulyas, head of the Prime Minister's Office, said here on Thursday.

"Fidesz is a member of the EPP and wants to remain a member of this party family," Gulyas declared in front of journalists following a Hungarian government session.

Gulyas explained that since Manfred Weber - chair of the EPP group - was the top candidate to become the new president of the European Commission following the European Parliament elections in May this year, he was "under pressure from the press every day, and sometimes he wanted to comply with all of the expectations."

Gulyas was hinting at an interview published by a German daily on March 5, in which Weber outlined three conditions which Fidesz must meet in order to remain in the EPP.

First, according to Weber, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban must "immediately and definitively end his government's campaign against Brussels." Second, he must apologize to all EPP member parties. And finally Orban must ensure the continued presence of the Central European University in Budapest.

Gulyas said the Hungarian government continued to support Weber in his quest to become the next leader of the European Commission, and the government's campaign against Brussels will come to an end on March 15.

Hungary launched a new anti-EU, anti-immigration media campaign on Feb. 20 with billboards on the streets, in metro stations and in the print and electronic media in which it accused Hungarian-born American billionaire George Soros and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker of supporting illegal migration. The campaign was immediately and strongly rejected by Brussels.

Gulyas believed that the positions of the EPP leaders and Fidesz had come closer in the past week, adding that Fidesz would most probably be participating in the European Parliament elections as a member of the EPP.

In response to a question, Gulyas stressed that it was in the EPP's interest to keep Fidesz within its ranks where Fidesz is currently the 4th largest group. It would amount to a "political suicide" for them to exclude Fidesz. "On the other hand, our popularity would not be hurt," he added.