One day after Italy’s Matteo Salvini traveled to Poland to discuss forming an international, inter-party alliance of anti-immigration populist nations to contest the EU Parliamentary elections in May, on Thursday, another prominent eurosceptic leader lashed out at the European establishment.
After a reporter from the French paper Le Monde asked Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban about his relationship with deeply unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron, Orban said that while he has nothing against Macron personally – in fact, the two get along well – he considers Macron to be the standard bearer for the EU’s globalist, “pro-immigration forces.”
And therefore, “I must fight him,” Orban said.
“There is no denying that Emmanuel Macron is an important figure, moreover, the leader of the pro-immigration forces,” Orban told a press conference.
“It is nothing personal, but a matter of our countries’ future. If what he wants with regards to migration materializes in Europe, that would be bad for Hungary, therefore I must fight him.”
Orban’s Fidesz party won a stunning parliamentary victory last year and remains supremely popular among Hungarians, particularly in more rural parts of the country. However, Orban’s refusal to bend to the EU’s mandates about member states accepting refugees and migrants prompted the EU Parliament to trigger Article 7 sanctions proceedings against Hungary back in September. This marked the first time the EU had ever invoked an Article 7 resolution.
For those who are unfamiliar, Article 7 of the EU Treaty was designed to protect the bloc’s “fundamental values” (because enforcing immigration laws and securing borders is apparently seen as a moral outrage in Brussels).
The Article 7 invocation could ultimately lead to a suspension of membership rights for Hungary.