The possible nomination of Frans Timmermans for European Commission president could be rejected solely because he is “George Soros’ man”, but the main reason for the Visegrad countries not to support him is because “he is a fighter of ideologies and he is against anyone who has a different view of the world”, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told the V4NA news agency on Monday.
Orbán referred to developments at the recent European Union summit as “thrillerlike”, and insisted that “some European leaders” including Timmermans, spitzenkandidat of the European Socialists and Democrats, and Manfred Weber, that of the European People’s Party, have “decided that the EC should be led by an unfaltering supporter of the NGO network of George Soros and of liberal democracy”.
“They have found a real fighter, Timmermans… who would not tolerate any views different from his own or deviating from liberal democracy,” Orbán insisted. He warned that “if that group captures the EC president’s chair, they will finance from that position Soros’ NGOs for long years and will try and restructure central European societies especially in terms of migration”. “Several of us” including the EPP, Hungary and the V4 group is working to “stop that process”, he added. He argued that Timmermans, if elected EC president, would “introduce east-west divisions in the EU, causing huge problems”.
The Visegrad countries want an EC president who will promote cooperation and compromises between east and west, Orbán said.
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On Sunday, the EPP decided that Timmermans “could in no way be EC president” and that the EPP should delegate somebody to the post, even if that person is other than Weber, Orbán said. He added that those decisions were not reported in the international press. Since the EPP cannot have two positions, it “will have to choose the EC (president)”, he added.
According to Orbán, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Luxembourg’s MEP Frank Engel voted against those two decisions; “everybody else voted against Merkel”. Merkel “did not accept” the decisions and went on proposing that Weber should be made European Parliament president and Timmermans EC president, in cooperation with the liberals and Socialists, he said. Merkel’s rejecting the EPP’s decisions and “having a completely different scenario” is “grave”, the prime minister said.
Italy, the V4, and other prime ministers, however, “rejected Merkel’s attitude” and “prevented Timmermans from being made EC president”, Orbán said. “When it turned out that a majority decision cannot be made, the session was suspended; everybody is now waiting and negotiating, waiting for the session to resume tomorrow,” Orbán said.
“I do hope that the EPP group will send us a clear message outlining the post we should fight for; I hope that post will be that of the commission president rather than the European Parliament head,” Orbán said, adding that negotiations into the night would hopefully result in a “compromise which is acceptable both in terms of party politics and geographical location”.
Featured photo by Balázs Szecsődi/PM’s Press Office