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Rift between Fidesz and EPP grows

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that Fidesz was "one centimeter away" from quitting the European Peopleʼs Party (EPP), after the majority of EPP MEPs voted in favor of continuing Article 7 proceedings in Hungary and Poland yesterday, according to multiple reports.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (Photo: Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.com)

In a resolution adopted yesterday at the European Parliament, MEPs note that reports and statements by the Commission, the UN, OSCE and the Council of Europe indicate that "the situation in both Poland and Hungary has deteriorated since the triggering of Article 7(1)", according to the parliamentʼs official website. 

After the vote, news site 24.hu reported that Fidesz had lost the support of German EPP members, as MEPs from CDU/CSU either voted for the resolution or abstained. 

According to government website kormany.hu, Orbán accused the majority of EPP members of betraying Fidesz. The PM added that in the end, Fidesz had decided to stay in the right of center grouping for now, as it still enjoys the support of French, Spanish, and Italian EPP members.

The PM noted that he would like to hold discussions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of CDU, as well as President of the EPP Donald Tusk before making a final decision.

State Secretary for Family and Youth Affairs Katalin Novák tweeted yesterday that "Majority of @EPPGroup submitted to pressure of liberals, instead of standing up for the truth."

ʼAnti-immigration stanceʼ

Regarding the EP vote on stepping up Article 7 proceedings, Orbán accused the Socialists, Liberals, and Greens in the EP of voting against Hungary because "they hate the Hungarian anti-immigration stance".

"It is clear that the Soros-network is behind actions like this," he said, claiming that Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros is manipulating European politics, applying pressure through a mafia-like network.

MEP Anna Donáth, representing opposition party Momentum, spoke during the plenary debate before the vote. "Since 10 years, the Hungarian government has been misusing EU funds while undermining European unity and jeopardizing the rule of law," she insisted.

"The EU has not been able to take meaningful action: it keeps transferring the funds that are then used to inflate personal wealth and cement the government’s power instead of being spent on hospitals, schools, and jobs," Donáth added.