Szajer blames overwhelming opposition media-power

After Fidesz’s landslide victory in Hungary, the ruling party’s MEP, Jozsef Szajer sent an email to his fellow EPP colleauges to give an account about the elections. The leaked email was published by Eurologus.

“The voter turnout was one of the highest in recent Hungarian political history, which makes this victory especially strong. Regardless that it was already the second time we were running for re-election we could considerably increase the number of people who supported us, we achieved a couple of hundred thousand more votes than in 2014. Not many democratic governments can boast in the world nowadays that after eight years of government people not only keep their trust in them but considerably increase it in numbers,”

Szajer writes.

“We had to work very hard for every single vote. All parties and a considerable part of the media (financed by oligarchs like Lajos Simicska or George Soros) were campaigning against us. It was a seven against-one-fight to win the majority necessary to govern. We were fighting with forces which had overwhelming media-power, unprecedented influence and almost limitless resources.”

he adds.

According to Peter Niedermuller the Democratic Coalition’s (S&D) MEP, Szajer’s email was not correct. He stressed that several international organisations have already concluded that the ruling Fidesz party is dominating the Hungarian media, and the campaign was full of hate-mongering billboards.

Belgian MEP proposes expelling Fidesz from EPP

A Belgian MEP has proposed kicking Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party out of the European People’s Party (EPP). Pascal Arimont of Belgium’s Christian Social Party, which sits in the EPP group, insisted that Prime Minister Viktor Orban had acted beyond acceptable norms on numerous occasions. Interviewed by Belgian public service television, he acknowledged, however, that his proposal was unlikely to receive sufficient backing.
He said the EPP was divided on the matter: most members currently believe the only way to rein in the Hungarian prime minister would be to embrace him. Arimont referred to Orban’s election campaign as “extremely anti-Brussels and xenophobic”, insisting that it was “right” to ask what would happen were Fidesz to be an EPP member or not.
If the Hungarian government fails to withdraw laws the European Commission says are in breach of European rules, then consideration should be given to excluding Fidesz, he said. Though suspending its membership may be another option until the European Court of Justice has ruled on ongoing procedures concerning suspected Hungarian violations of EU law, he added.

Debate in the LIBE committee tomorrow

In the LIBE Meeting on 12 April Members will have an exchange of views on the Situation in Hungary. Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, NL) will present her draft report on democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in the country to the committee. The Civil Liberties Committee was tasked in May 2017 with studying the situation in Hungary, with a view to activating Article 7(1) of the EU Treaty.
Source: Hungary Journal/MTI/EP

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