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Jan 17, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán: We were one centimeter away from leaving the EPP

“This cannot go on,” Prime Minister Orbán said in his regular Friday morning interview on the public Kossuth Rádió. “If the EPP doesn’t stand up for Hungary, then we will have to start a new, Christian-Democratic European movement.” Besides the European Parliament vote yesterday, the prime minister talked about V4 relations with Austria, “prison deals” in Hungary and the Roma segregation case in Gyöngyöspata.

In his regular Friday morning interview on Kossuth Rádió – the first one this year– Prime Minister Viktor Orbán kicked off the conversation by evaluating the outcomes of yesterday’s V4-Austria summit in Prague.

“There are two things [concerning Austria], which are of utmost importance for us,” PM Orbán said, naming the issue of migration as one. “Austrians are against immigration; they are against migrants and stand firmly behind border protection,” the prime minister said. The second topic is the increasing weight of Austria’s economy within the European Union. According to PM Orbán, “the German economy grew 0.6 percent last year, while Austria reached more than double [that].”

Regarding yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament on the expansion of the Article 7 procedure against Hungary and Poland, Prime Minister Orbán confirmed that Fidesz “was one centimeter away from leaving the EPP,” as the group’s majority “betrayed us.” But the support of the French, Spanish and Italian member parties convinced Fidesz to stay in the bloc – at least for the moment.

“It’s for sure that this cannot go on,” the PM said. “If the EPP doesn’t stand up for Hungary, then we will have to start a new, Christian-Democratic European movement.”

Behind all of these machinations, according to PM Orbán, stands George Soros and his network. “I have always found it odd that we never talk about this question openly,” the PM said, adding that George Soros is the “world’s number one oligarch,” “a rich man who has bought political influence.”

“There are many who fear George Soros. When Soros blows his whistle and the pens start swinging in international media, well, it takes a strong man to resist the headwind. I am no longer afraid of this because I know it. But whoever hasn’t already been through one of these operations only sees the bulldozer,” Prime Minister Orbán said.

Touching upon the practice of the so-called “prison deal,” by which wily attorneys – working for organizations funded by George Soros – carve out millions for their convicted criminal clients on the grounds of supposedly unfair prison conditions, PM Orbán said that it’s not about the correct application of the law, it’s about misuse. “Hungarian people are right,” the prime minister said, “in saying that their tax money shouldn’t be used for paying out rewards for convicted criminals because some lawyers can achieve this in court.”

On the Roma segregation case in Gyöngyöspata (read more about it here), PM Orbán reminded listeners that there has to be a calm discussion about the issue. And for a calm discussion, we need a point of departure. “My point of departure is Hungarians’ sense of justice,” the PM said.

“Hungarians are not racists; they don’t reject Roma people. They know that they will have to continue living together in the coming decades,” Orbán said. “However, there’s a line Hungarians will never cross: We are not giving money for nothing,” he added, especially when it clearly runs so counter to the local sense of justice.