European Union sanction threat 'no danger' to Hungary: PM Orban

Pauline Gross
September 16, 2018

Tajani's caution had good founding in the tumultuous Tuesday debate that preceded the vote, when Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addressed the European Parliament and claimed the resolution, still in draft form at that time, was an offense to Hungary. If the abstentions were counted into the final tally, there would have been a total 693 votes, so the 448 in favour wouldn't have reached two-thirds.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto slammed the vote as "nothing less than the petty revenge of pro-immigration politicians".

Opposition to Orban's vision does not just come from the left, with disquiet also in the main center-right parliamentary group, the European People's Party (EPP).

"You think that you know the needs of the Hungarian people better than the Hungarian people themselves. They deserve freedom of speech, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice and equality, all of which are enshrined in the European treaties". The motion, supported by Parliament's civil liberties committee in June, brings up a number of concerns about the functioning of the country's institutions, including problems with the electoral system, independence of the judiciary and the respect for citizens' rights and freedoms.

Amnesty International's expert on human rights in the EU, Berber Biala-Hettinga, said the European Parliament had "rightly stood up for the Hungarian people and for the EU".

She had urged colleagues not to let Hungary off the hook, declaring that Orban's rule "violates the values on which this union was built".

This is stated in the statement of the Polish foreign Ministry, reports the Chronicle.info citing 112 Ukraine.

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On 11 September, MEPs will discuss a proposal to the Council to trigger a procedure that seeks to prevent a serious breach of European Union values in Hungary.

Grabbe's organization is part of the Open Society Foundations set up by Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, an ideological opponent of Orban and blamed by the Hungarian leader, along with the NGOs Soros supports, for promoting mass immigration into Europe.

Orban, whose right-wing Fidesz party has governed Hungary since 2010 and was re-elected in April for a third consecutive term on a strongly anti-immigrant platform, is playing a long-term political game in Europe. "I have always been in favour of building bridges and I want to continue to do so, but yesterday [Tuesday] I didn't see any readiness from the Hungarian PM to make a move towards his European Union partners and address our concerns", Mr Manfred tweeted.

The same procedure was launched by the European Commission against Poland in December 2017, but Wednesday's vote marks the first time that the European legislature has ever triggered the action. "There is nothing to talk about".

The European Parliament's approval of the Sargentini report criticising the state of the rule of law in Hungary is nothing more than a "massive power grab", Nigel Farage, the head of the EP's Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group, told public news channel M1 on Wednesday.

"They want to brand Hungary and want to weaken the resistance of Hungary", Orban said.

Other reports by GizPress

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