On the heels of its recent interview with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, German daily das Bild has published another with Jean-Claude-Juncker, the outgoing President of the European Commission (EC). Despite also belonging to the European People’s Party (EPP), Juncker is often subject to criticism in pro-Fidesz media.
The article is divided into topics and Orbán is certainly one of them. “Ah, Viktor Orbán. In the mid-90s, I was one of his biggest admirers. He was so brave,” Juncker begins.
When the reporter suggests that Orbán challenges the EU, Juncker argues that “he’s not only challenging the EU – he’s negating it. That’s a difference.”
When asked whether Orbán’s aim (“more power to national states, less to Brussels”) will eventually be the EU’s future, Juncker categorically says no. “If everyone acted as egoistically and nationally as Viktor Orbán, there would no longer be an EU. But the majority want the EU. This is why Orbán will not prevail.“
He also highly doubts that Hungary will leave the EU: “The majority of Hungarians want to stay in the EU. But, Orbán will remain Orbán: anyone not to his right is an orthodox left-wing socialist, including me. Ridiculous.”
He goes on to defend Angela Merkel’s attitude during the migration crisis by arguing that she “did the right thing in the autumn of 2015, and history will prove her right. If she had closed the German border, Austria and Hungary would have collapsed under the weight of the refugees. That’s the truth.”