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Hungarian Press Roundup: PM Orbán Opposes Timmermans’ Candidacy

Hungary Today 2019.07.02.

Opposition outlets write that the Prime Minister is frightened by the prospect of Dutch Socialist Frans Timmermans being elected President of the European Commission, while pro-government outlets characterise him as George Soros’ man.

Hungarian press roundup by budapost.eu

Orbán on Timmermans EC Nomination: ‘Soros’ Man, Who Can’t Accept Different Views’

Background information: in a letter to European People’s Party Chairman Joseph Daul, PM Viktor Orbán strongly opposed the candidacy of the left-wing Dutch politician, arguing that such a choice would lead the People’s Party to self-destruction. Since then, Chancellor Merkel of Germany has apparently failed in her attempt to nominate Timmermans for the post of EC President and her original candidate, Manfred Weber, as Speaker of the European Parliament. Sunday’s EP summit ended without reaching agreement on the key posts.

On 168 óra online, György Unyatyinszki remarks that Timmermans, who is the outgoing first vice president of the Commission, is Orbán’s fiercest critic among EC leaders. Unyatyinszki describes Orbán’s reaction as ‘desperate’. The left-wing reporter remarks that the People’s Party has to come to terms with the Socialists and either the Liberal or the Green MEPs in order to gain the required majority in Parliament and all these partners reject the candidacy of Weber for the top job. Orbán opposed Mr. Weber’s nomination as well but found himself even more uncomfortable with the prospect of having Timmermans as Commission President, he writes.

On Origo, Bálint Bordács calls the proposed deal between Merkel and the Socialists ‘an unprincipled compromise’ which has been rejected as such by a significant number of conservative politicians. He thinks the main reason why Timmermans’ candidacy is opposed by many EPP member parties is that ‘he represents George Soros’ interests’. The pro-government author remarks that Timmermans has met the Hungarian-American investor and supporter of a large number of NGOs worldwide more frequently than anyone else among the leading personalities within the EU. If he were to be elected, Bordács claims, ‘the European Union would be intertwined with George Soros to an unprecedented extent’.