HUNGARY Prime Minister Viktor Orban defiantly hit back at calls for disciplinary action against his Government – insisting the country will not surrender to “blackmailing” by the European Parliament
By – Charlotte Davis
Mr Orban ridiculed calls by the European Parliament for disciplinary action on the Hungary Government in response to his policies on migrant issues.
The Hungarian Prime Minister said the report is an “insult to the honour of the Hungarian nation” as he accused the European Parliament of thinking they “know better” than the people of Hungary.
During a debate in Strasbourg on Tuesday on a resolution to trigger Article 7, Mr Orban said the report was an “abuse of power”.
This is the first attempt by the European Parliament to trigger the so-called Article 7, which would allow Parliament the power to suspend certain rights from a member state.
Mr Orban said: “This report is a breach of agreements made years ago. If you can do this and you can breach these agreements, what’s the point in making agreements with any European Union institution?
“What you are doing here is a slap in the face of the Union and of constructive dialogue.
“Every nation, every member state has the right to organise its life in its own country.”
Mr Orban said Hungary will continue to protect its borders. He added: “We have built a fence. We have stopped illegal migrants – hundreds and thousands of them. We have defenced Hungary and we have defended Europe.
“What you are doing here is a slap in the face of the Union and of constructive dialogue”
“This is the first case in the history of Europe when a community condemns its own borders.
“President, let’s be straightforward with each other. Hungary is going to be condemned because Hungarian people have decided that this country is now going to be a country of migrants.
“With all due respect, but very firmly, I have to refuse the threats, the blackmailing, the defamation, by forces supporting immigrants and migrants against Hungary and Hungarian people.
“I must state that whatever your decision will be, Hungary will not accede to this blackmail. Hungary will protect its borders, stop illegal migration and will defend its rights.
“If needed, we will stand up to you too. We stand ready for the elections next May where people can decide on the future of Europe and reinstate democracy to European politics.”
Author of the report on Hungary and Mr Orban’s Fidesz party, Dutch MEP Judith Sargentini, claimed there is the “clear risk of a serious breach by Hungary of the values on which the Union is founded”.
Ms Sargentini said her report, which is set to be voted by MEPs on Wednesday, “comprehensively lists” attacks on the media as well as violations of EU standards.
Leader of the European People’s Party (EPP) Manfred Weber hit out at Orban and told the Parliament: “If we say generally that you have to be afraid about Muslims and generally attack a religion, then we do the job of the Jihadists who want to create a clash inside of our societies.
“Europe is the idea of freedom of religion and the separation of state and the churches.”
He added: “We have invented human rights, and not Christian rights, on this Continent.”
Former Belgian Prime Minister and MEP Guy Verhofstadt also said it would be “impossible” if Hungary were to attempt to join the EU today “under these circumstances”.
A European Parliament spokesperson said: “This is not a matter of blackmail. The European Parliament is not wanting anything back in return.
“It highlights values in the Treaty and requires members to respect the rules.”
Read more: From 2018/08/06
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