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PM Orbán vows to ‘keep the EU alive’

September 8th, 2021

Opinions diverge over what motivated the Prime Minister to say that he will be a staunch supporter of the European Union – even if it were about to fall apart.

Addressing the customary annual meeting of pro-government intellectuals at Kötcse, near Lake Balaton, the Prime Minister was reported as saying: ’Even if the European Union were to fall apart, we will be there among the last ones inside, holding up the last beam, working on halting the disintegration and reversing it.’

In Népszava, Miklós Hargitai confronts the PM’s words with the government’s billboards, which express sharp criticism of Brussels. He concludes that the two messages starkly contradict each other. To solve the contradiction, he suggests that the Prime Minister realises that, despite all the government’s anti-Brussels rhetoric and repeated confrontations with Brussels, the population consistently supports the European Union. Thus, he suggests, the Prime Minister is positioning himself as a supporter of the EU because he wouldn’t like the electoral campaign to revolve around whether Hungary should remain a member of the Union.

In Magyar Nemzet, on the other hand, political analyst Zoltán Kiszelly remarks that while 75 percent of Hungarians are supportive of the European Union, 60 per cent believe it should be reformed. That, he argues, is precisely what the Prime Minister represents and therefore he sees no contradiction between Mr Orbán’s criticism of Brussels and his promise to defend the Union.

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