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Further echoes of the Strasbourg resolution

July 5th, 2013

A pro-government columnist maintains that the Tavares-report was accepted by a narrow margin, and suggests PM Orbán’s speech before the vote may have convinced many MEPs to abstain, rather than vote in favour. A former Hungarian centre-right MP writes in an opposition daily that Orbán is unfit to lead because he tolerates no compromise.

On July 3rd the Tavares report was accepted by the European Parliament with 370 votes to 279, with 83 abstentions. Speculation about the abstainees and the no votes is rife in the Hungarian press, with pro-government journalists claiming – in accordance with the official statement of the EPP – that the European People’s Party stood solidly behind Orbán, while critics of the Hungarian government surmise that some EPP members must have voted yes or abstained, while Euro-sceptic factions voted no or abstained. Orbán called the resolution yet another unjustified attack on Hungary. (For more reactions see BudaPost July 4)

Magyar Nemzet’s columnist highlights those “faces distorted by rage and hatred” during the plenary session, and refers to green Daniel Cohn-Bendit and liberal floor leader Guy Verhofstadt by name. Zsuzsanna Körmendy contends that “the biased and faulty report” is only a pretext for left-liberal forces to continue their attacks on Hungary and its PM. She emphasizes that despite the efforts of the European left, the resolution was accepted by a rather small margin – 53 per cent to 47 per cent combining those against with abstentions. While the critics play democracy in Strasbourg, she concludes, the EU is about to fall to pieces, and national leaders will soon have to the realize that any member state may find itself in the dock.

In Népszava, Károly Herényi, former deputy chairman of the MDF, a centre-right party that disappeared from the political scene after it allied itself with their arch enemy, the Free Democrats, describes the PM as an uncooperative person who is thereby unfit to lead or represent Hungary. Viktor Orbán is “Europe-incompatible”, he claims, because his only interest is grabbing and keeping as much power as he can muster – and this does not go down well with European partners. He accuses Mr Orbán of calling for “a national freedom fight against colonization by Europe” that may only deceive “simple minded” loyalists, while “sane Hungarians” will never fall for this argument. Or will they? Herényi asks.

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