An attempt by left-wing MEPs to deprive Hungary of its scheduled presidency of the Council of the European Union next year is undemocratic and unthinkable, a leading MEP for the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) said on Friday.
In a staunch defense of Austria’s neighbor, Harald Vilimsky slammed the draft resolution proposed by EU lawmakers questioning Budapest’s ability to assume the role in the second half of next year due to ongoing legal proceedings against the Hungarian government for alleged rule-of-law infringements.
It is understood the resolution is supported by a majority of Austria’s political parties, including the ÖVP, SPÖ, and the Greens. However, the FPÖ, currently flying high in domestic polls, has berated the move.
“Hungary is and will remain an important partner in Europe,” Vilimsky said in a statement. The mere thought that Hungary would be deprived of the Council presidency can only be described as disconcerting in terms of democratic politics,” he added.
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He further criticized left-wing factions within the European Parliament who have continued a pernicious witch hunt against Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, which Vilimsky believes is for ideological reasons.
“The factions of the Socialists and Christian Democrats in particular should rather take care of the corruption scandals in their ranks instead of distracting them with attacks on Hungary.
“They would be wise to put their own house in order before lecturing a democratically elected government and its prime minister,” Vilimsky said.
He warned that a decision to withdraw the Hungarian presidency of the Council would inevitably lead to the gap between East and West continuing to widen.” He also offered praise for Orbán, who he described as one of the few sensible voices on the European political scene.
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“The Hungarian prime minister works for his citizens. That’s what he was elected for — and that’s a good thing. The FPÖ continues to stand by our Hungarian friends, and I think that a majority of citizens in Europe also want good relations with the Hungarian people and no left-wing discord from Brussels,” Vilimsky added.
The FPÖ has been making steady progress on the domestic political scene in Austria and is routinely polling as the most popular party in the country. Best known for its strong stance against mass immigration and anti-Russian sanctions, the party has enjoyed electoral success in several regional elections so far this year, increasing its vote count considerably in Carinthia, Lower Austria, Tyrol and Salzburg.