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Hungarian Press Roundup: EPP to Debate Expulsion of Fidesz

Hungary Today 2019.03.07.

Commentators from right across the political spectrum wonder whether the European People’s Party will finally expel Fidesz. Most deemed it a very unlikely possibility.

Hungarian press roundup by budapost.eu

Background information: On Tuesday, Joseph Daul, leader of the European People’s Party said that PM Orbán had crossed a red line with his billboard campaign suggesting that Jean-Claude Juncker as an associate of George Soros (see BudaPost March 5). On 20 March, the EPP plenary is to discuss a proposal by 13 member parties to expel Fidesz. EPP floor leader Manfred Weber said that Fidesz can only remain within the EPP if PM Orbán stops its ‘anti-Brussels campaign’, apologizes to the EPP and, makes it possible for CEU to remain in Budapest.

Magyar Nemzet’s Zsolt Bayer accuses Joseph Daul of lying, and if selling out the core values of Christian Democrats. The pro-government columnist thinks that the EPP has already lost its conservative and Christian outlook and became the home for a motley crew of left-wing, anarchist and liberal parties. Bayer thinks that the EPP would shoot itself in the foot by ousting Fidesz, one of its strongest members. If Fidesz is kicked out, other parties will quit the EPP, and then “Daul, Weber, Juncker and Merkel could finally ally with Soros and Sargentini,”, Bayer concludes.

In a short comment, Index also deems it unlikely that the EPP will sack Fidesz, as the expulsion motion is only supported by a minority.

Alt-left Mérce suspects that the EPP wants to send a message to its critics by putting the suspension of Fidesz on the table. Mérce, however, thinks that the EPP in the end will not expel one of its strongest members.

In Heti Világgazdaság, Gáspár Miklós Tamás contends that the EPP looks down on Eastern Europeans, but will keep Fidesz within its ranks, fearing that it would otherwise play into the hands of even more radical and nationalist parties in Eastern Europe. The Marxist philosopher adds that while Hungary ‘weakens the European Union’, suspending the country’s membership would speed up the disintegration of the EU.