European Interest

Hungary: The first signs of retreat

Flickr/European People's Party/CC BY 2.0

The anti-Brussels billboards, which were financed by the EU taxpayer’s money, will be replaced next week Reuters reports.

The ruling Fidesz start its campaign for the European elections, putting up billboards accusing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and U.S. billionaire George Soros of conspiring to destroy Hungary through immigration.

The posters provoked the intervention of European People’s Party Group President Manfred Weber who said that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán must apologize for his criticism of the EU or his Fidesz party could be expelled from the group.

PM chief of staff Gergely Gulyas said the posters will be replaced next week. Orbán’s next target will be the low Hungarian birth rate. According to the Reuters next week Fidesz will express its will to remain an EPP member.

Gulyas declined to respond about later stages Reuters reports.

Weber told Bild newspaper he expected an apology to EPP member parties. In addition he asked the permanent end to Orbán’s anti-EU campaigns as well as the end of the government’s hostility towards the Central European University (CEU).

“It is a good signal, taking down the posters there, that was one of the requests I made this week,” Weber said.

PM chief of staff declined to answer whether Orbán planned to apologize. But, he said the government is considering the case of the CEU which is closed and plans to move to Austria.

Explore more