Hungary's Fidesz "inch away" from leaving EPP: Orban

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-18 02:19:55|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

BUDAPEST, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban is seriously considering pulling his Fidesz party out of the European People's Party (EPP), the largest group in the European Parliament (EP), he said in his regular Friday morning interview on public radio MR1.

Orban made the remarks following a resolution adopted by the EP on Thursday criticizing the conduct of his government.

The resolution, adopted with an overwhelming 446 votes in favor, 178 against and 41 abstentions, noted that reports and statements published by the European Commission, the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe indicate that "The situation in both Poland and Hungary has deteriorated since the triggering of Article 7."

The resolution said that the EP "notes with concern that the (Article 7) hearings are not organised in a regular, structured and open manner." It calls on the European Council to address concrete recommendations to Poland and Hungary, including deadlines, to ensure that EU law is respected.

Launched last autumn, the procedures under Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) could ultimately strip Hungary and/or Poland of their EU voting rights, citing the "existence of a clear risk of a serious breach of the values on which the Union is founded."

"This cannot continue," Orban reacted on public radio. "If the EPP doesn't stand up for Hungary, then we will have to start a new, Christian-Democratic European movement," he said.

"Fidesz is one centimeter away from leaving the EPP, as the group's majority betrayed us," Orban argued. However, he said the support of the EPP's French, Spanish and Italian member parties persuaded Fidesz to stay in the bloc -- at least for now.

He accused Hungarian-born American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, his adversary, of being the person behind the EP resolution: "Behind all of these machinations stands George Soros and his network."

"George Soros is the world's number one oligarch, a rich man who has bought political influence," he concluded.