Viktor Orbán meets protesting farmers in Brussels as EU hit with mass protests in multiple countries

Viktor Orbán meets protesting farmers in Brussels. (MTI/Zoltán Fischer)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Upon his arrival in Brussels for Thursday’s EU summit, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met farmers demonstrating in the city center, with whom he discussed the need for European leaders to pay much more attention to the voice of the people, Bertalan Havasi, the Hungarian prime minister’s press chief, told national news agency MTI.

He added that Orbán also held talks with former Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Brussels on Wednesday evening.

“We need new leaders, a new elite in Europe, because at the moment — whether it is migration or the war in Ukraine — the voice of the man in the street is not taken seriously, and this is a democratic deficit,” Orbán told Belgian journalists.

Orbán stressed that the European Union does not sufficiently respect the fact that agriculture is an important part of the European economy. In many countries, regulations have been introduced that are unfavorable to farmers and have made their situation more difficult, according to Hungarian news outlet Magyar Nemzet.

The Hungarian leader pointed out that Ukrainian agriculture is subject to much more lenient rules, which has created an unfair competitive situation, a sentiment also expressed in a recent video by French farmers that was produced by Remix News.

“We are the first to suffer from this, Poles, Slovaks, Hungarians, who live right next to Ukraine. But sooner or later this threat, this loss, will reach the interior of Europe and will also be felt here in Brussels, in France and in Spain,” the Hungarian prime minister said, adding that this must be stopped.

“The European Commission should represent the interests of European farmers vis-à-vis the Ukrainians, not the other way round,” he added.

Orbán also said that imports of Ukrainian products should be stopped altogether because the conditions of farming are not the same, and European farmers are suffering heavy losses because of EU regulations.

As a solution to the problem, Orbán proposed a complete change of leadership in Brussels, because “these leaders will never make decisions that are favorable to farmers.”

“We need to find new leaders who truly represent the interests of the people,” he added, referring to the European Parliament elections in June.

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