Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Manfred Weber, the head of the European People’s Party (EPP), “insulted the Hungarian people” in an interview published in the conservative German newspaper Welt am Sonntag on Sunday.
Orbán noted that he had agreed to back Weber’s bid to become president of the European Commission at a meeting in Budapest two years earlier, but two days later the German politician had publicly declared that he did not want to win the office with Hungarian votes. (In the 2019 EP campaign, when asked what he would do if he could only assume the presidency using “populist Fidesz’s” votes, Weber declared he would reject the position: “When it comes to Europe’s future, I want to make it clear that the middle is dominant. Not the left-wing extremists, the communists, and not the right-wing extremists, the nationalists.”)
Orbán said that
Here, everybody asked: what kind of person is this? Does he think we’re second-class Europeans? This affair was not about me, but about insulting the Hungarian people. We lost confidence in him.”
He said the problem is rather with the EPP, as Weber wants the same kind of coalition in Brussels as that between the Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Berlin.
“Soon one won’t be able to tell the difference between conservatives and socialists,” Orbán said, adding that the EPP must preserve its “Christian-conservative character”.
Orbán said the European Parliament, which intervened in the process of advancing the EU budget and recovery, “vastly overestimates its role”.
He said the EP “thinks it has greater legitimacy than national parliaments”, which is “a big mistake”.
“We want to be part of a strong union of nation states that complies with the Treaties,” Orbán said.
He said Brussels was “not far” from becoming Moscow, drawing a comparison between the rule of law mechanism, “without objective criteria”, that European Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova wanted to introduce and the ideological directives issued by the central committee in Moscow under communism.
Orbán said the “real debate” is about family policy, migration policy and cultural issues.
In the featured photo: PM Viktor Orbán and EPP group leader Mafred Weber. Photo by Balázs Szecsődi/PM’s Press Office