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Weber seen as conciliatory towards Fidesz

March 15th, 2019

While on his return from Budapest to Germany, EPP top candidate Manfred Weber said Viktor Orbán should swiftly meet his conditions if he doesn’t want his Fidesz party to be expelled from the European People’s Party, Hungarian commentators agree that he is working on a smooth settlement of the dispute.

Népszava’s Róbert Friss excoriates the EPP for its mild stance over what he sees as the blatant disregard for democratic values by Fidesz. He describes Mr. Weber’s visit to Budapest as a failure, as it has not produced a change in PM Orbán’s attitudes. In fact, he believes, Mr. Orbán cannot comply with Mr. Weber’s demands without losing face. The left-wing commentator suspects that Mr. Weber’s criticism of the policies of the Hungarian government is more than anything a gesture to the European Left whose votes will be necessary for him to become President of the European Commission.

The two pro-government nationwide dailies also believe that Mr Weber wants to keep Fidesz within the EPP but criticise him for seeking the favour of the leftist and liberal parties.

Magyar Nemzet’s Ferenc Kis takes it practically for granted that the EPP vote next week will be favourable for Fidesz but believes that Mr Orbán’s party should only remain a member in the long run if the EPP returns to what he calls its original Christian values and rejects (mass) immigration.

In Magyar Hírlap, Mariann Őry understands that Mr. Weber needs allies to get elected as EC President later this year. She ponders however what kind of Europe the EPP wants. She warns against continuing along the line followed so far which made the European Union ‘incapable of keeping migrants out and Britain in’.

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