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PM working on a new conservative alliance

November 6th, 2021

A left-wing commentator describes the Prime Minister’s efforts to set up a new united radical conservative group within the European Parliament as an attempt to avoid international isolation.

After their meeting in Budapest last April, Prime Ministers Viktor Orbán of Hungary, Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland and Italian Lega party leader Matteo Salvini held a video conference on the possibility of uniting the two conservative groups in the European Parliament to create perhaps the second-largest group there. Fidesz vice-president Katalin Novák told Klub Radio that if the project succeeds by the end of the year, the new group could take part in the re-distribution of the various posts within the European Parliament in January next year. Mr Orbán also met the leader of the French National Rally Marine Le Pen and Italian Fratelli d’Italia leader Giorgia Meloni last week (See BudaPost, October 28).

In Népszava, István Zalatnay interprets such meetings as signposts along the way of a long retreat by the Hungarian Prime Minister. In the mid-2010s, he writes, Mr Orbán hoped radical conservatives would become a dominant force in Europe. When those forces achieved only mediocre results at the 2019 European elections, he retreated to option B – namely, to secure some protection against pressure from Brussels by remaining a member of the European People’s Party. When he felt he had no choice but to leave the EPP, Zalatnay continues, he pinned his hopes on his alliance with the Polish government which spared him from remaining completely on his own within the European Union. Zalatnay speculates that building a new right-wing alliance, a project he calls ‘option D’ is a means for the Hungarian Prime Minister to remain a stakeholder on the European scene even if he loses next year’s election.

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