Dispute over the release of funds: Orban railed against "rule of law fans" in Brussels

Instead of curbing corruption in his own country, Hungary's Prime Minister Orban is pointing the finger at the EU, which itself is involved in a bribery scandal.

Dispute over the release of funds: Orban railed against "rule of law fans" in Brussels

Instead of curbing corruption in his own country, Hungary's Prime Minister Orban is pointing the finger at the EU, which itself is involved in a bribery scandal. He calls for the rights of the European Parliament to be curtailed - and postulates a fight against "Hungarian hostility".

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban accused the EU of "Hungarianism" at his annual press conference. Referring to the dispute over the blocking of EU funds for Hungary, the right-wing nationalist head of government said his government had managed to reach an agreement with the EU - which was "an extraordinary achievement on our part, because in a world dominated by liberalism we are against anti-Hungarianism had to fight". Orban also stated that he has no plans to resign.

The EU Commission had recommended freezing funds totaling more than 13 billion euros intended for Hungary - and at the same time pushed for anti-corruption reforms in Hungary. In December, Brussels and Budapest agreed to reduce the blocked amount by 1.2 billion euros. In return, Hungary gave the green light to EU financial aid for Ukraine and ended its opposition to a minimum tax of 15 percent for international corporations.

Orban called the rule of law procedure, on the basis of which Brussels is withholding funds for his country, a "heavy nail in the coffin of the EU". This must be pulled out. Orban added: "What the EU is doing today is an attempt by a few rule-of-law fans to impose their will on a few countries."

With a view to the corruption scandal in the EU Parliament about alleged bribery by the Gulf state of Qatar, Orban explained that the reputation of the Brussels parliament in Hungary was "already at zero" and could not sink any lower. "The swamp must be drained," Orban said. The right-wing conservative head of government repeated his call for parliamentary powers to be curtailed. MEPs should also not be elected by the citizens of the EU, but appointed by the governments of the member states.

Speaking about his own future, Orban, 59, said he "has no plans to retire". "Of course you can't know how long you'll last, but it's not like football. God will decide," said the avowed football fan. Orban has led the government in Budapest since 2010.

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