Yesterday in his speech at the event marking the 40th anniversary of the European People’s Party (EPP) Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, was shockingly permissive towards what Mr. Orban represents as a politician.
Mr. Tusk emphasized he was “proud” to be in the same party with Orban, underlining that the EPP must realize that the views of Angela Merkel and Orban are “compatible with each other and only together can they provide a full answer”, or people will seek other “radical and brutal” answers for how to tackle the crisis. With this statement – which sparked criticism even from right-wing politicians – it is now clear that Mr. Tusk is entirely unsuitable to fulfil his duties as President of the European Council and therefore should step down from his position immediately. Today I have sent an official inquiry to Mr. Tusk, demanding he comes clear about his stance regarding the politics of Hungarian PM Orban.
Orban and his Fidesz party take pleasure in trampling on European values and agreements, while building an increasingly autocratic, illiberal regime stripped of any sensible system of checks and balances. The Constitutional Court has become a caricature of itself filled with party lackeys. The Chief Prosecutor, the President of the State Audit, or the Chairman of the National Bank are all irremovable, servile henchmen of Orban’s nepotistic system, former party cadres who are loyal only to the prime minister. Are you really proud of that, Mr President?
Mafia-like circles have stolen the agricultural lands from ordinary Hungarians, and every Eurocent of EU support ends up in the pockets of shady oligarchs close to the prime minister. In the meantime, Orban is waging a freedom fight against Europe from EU money as well. Are you really proud of that, Mr President?
Perhaps it is worth reminding Mr Tusk that it was also Orban the “Christian-democrat” who started a huge billboard hate-campaign against refugees, who bussed thousands of them to neighbouring countries instead of complying with applicable European regulations, then deliberately sabotaged efforts to find a common solution. As a devoted admirer of illiberalism, he cosies up to Vladimir Putin and works on the disintegration of the European Union on a daily basis. Are you really proud of that, Mr President?
The darkest years of Europe resulted from the inaction of weak leaders who refused to confront with dangerous tendencies. A responsible leader who wants to see the European project prevail simply cannot be proud to be in the same party with an illiberal despot. A reasonable politician who wants to build a strong European Union based on solidarity cannot legitimize someone whose goals are the exact opposite, or he will become the member of the same club that wants to see Europe burn.
dr. Istvan Ujhelyi MEP
Vice-President of the Hungarian Socialist Party