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Viktor Orbán’s anti-Juncker promise

June 19th, 2014

Columnists are divided about the PM’s latest remarks on the candidacy of Jean-Claude Juncker to the presidency of the European Commission.
During the electoral campaign for the European Parliament no reference whatsoever was made to Juncker’s candidacy, Népszabadság writes in a front page editorial, commenting on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s recent statement in the German newspaper, Bild. In a two-part interview published on Monday and Tuesday, the PM explained that Hungary would never support the candidacy of the Luxembourg politician, in conformity with his promise to the electorate.
The first explicit reference to this issue was made two days before the elections. (See BudaPost, May 28), but the Prime Minister has campaigned for years against a more centralized European Union of which Mr Juncker is believed to be a staunch supporter.)
Népszabadság believes, however, that Mr Orbán’s opposition is actually furthering Juncker’s claim, because the European heads of government would rather side with him than with the Hungarian Prime Minister, “whose ideas on the European Union are well known”.
In an ironical piece in Népszava, Tamás Rónay mentions that Mr Orbán was not even invited to the meeting of European politicians who also oppose Jean-Claude Juncker’s nomination to chair the European Commission. He accuses the Prime Minister of refusing to bring up any logical arguments to substantiate his stance, unlike the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, Sweden and the Netherlands.
In Magyar Hírlap on the other hand, Imre Boros believes that the anti-Juncker camp is right. In his view these are the countries which preserved their own currencies, and managed to find successful ways out of the financial and economic crisis employing means different from the ones used by the Eurozone countries. The conservative pundit suggests that an excessive drive for federalization, as possibly represented by Juncker, might jeopardize, even break up, the entire EU.

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