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25/09/2016

Hungarian parliament chief: We could leave the EU

Central Europe

Hungarian parliament chief: We could leave the EU

László Kövér

If the European Union wants to dictate to Hungary, then the country should consider slowly backing out of the union, Parliamentary Speaker and Fidesz MP László Kövér said on 24 October, as quoted by the Hungarian press.

According to Hungarian online daily origo.hu, Kövér said that if Brussels wants to tell a country how it should be governed, then it resembles Moscow before the change of regime in 1989.

The speaker reportedly said that if this is the direction the EU takes, then Hungary should consider leaving the union. He added however that this was only “a nightmare” scenario, and that he doubted it would come to that. The speaker was quoted as saying that the EU and NATO are not the problem, but rather that the “Euroatlantic world is shaken in a moral sense”.

According to the house speaker, since the end of communism, the governments and financial leaders of some Western countries believe they can do everything.

Kövér’s speech drew immediate fire from opposition parties and politicians. The opposition E-PM party (Dialogue for Hungary) urged Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “to discipline” Kövér, as his opinion harms the international interests of all Hungarian citizens. Furthermore, E-PM said the time has come for the prime minister to announce whether Hungary’s future lies in an alliance with Moscow or Brussels.

In recent months, Orbán has appeared increasingly supportive of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

>> Read: Hungary’s Orbán wants warmer EU-Russia ties to boost business

Orbán, whose conservative Fidesz party in April won a new four-year term, has been accused by some parts of the EU of seeking to amass too much power and rejecting democratic checks and balances.

The Hungarian Liberal Party called Kövér’s statements a “serious mistake”, especially at a time when the US introduced a travel ban against six Hungarian officials.

>> Read: Washington introduces Russia-style sanctions against Hungarian officials

The Hungarian website Budapest Business Journal also wrote that Germany is flexing its economic muscle and could cancel important joint ventures in a sign of dissatisfaction with Orbán’s policies.

 

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