Hungary’s Premier: ‘Dissolve EU Parliament’

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – As European legislators prepared for their long Christmas holidays, Hungary’s prime minister advised them not to return.

At a rare annual international press conference for selected media, Viktor Orbán used a phrase of former U.S. President Donald J. Trump to express his frustration about the European Union’s 705-seats parliament.

He said it’s time to “drain the swamp” in the EU, which he stressed could lead to dissolving the 27-nation bloc’s European Parliament.

“The Hungarians would like for the European Parliament to be dissolved in its current form,” Orbán noted.

He spoke amid massive corruption allegations with Greek legislator Eva Kaili booted from her post as parliamentary vice president as she became the face of the financial wrongdoing case.

She was detained on December 9 when Belgian police, searching several addresses, found 1.5 million euros ($1.6m) in cash that she allegedly received from Qatar to promote the Gulf state. Qatar vehemently denies involvement.

Another three suspects – her boyfriend Francesco Giorgi, who heads a non-governmental organization allegedly used to funnel money, and a former legislator turned-lobbyist, all of them Italian – were also arrested.


However, speaking at a three-hour press conference in Budapest, Orbán suggested that even before the scandal broke, Hungary had already expressed about the European Parliament. “The degree to which the reputation of the European Parliament in Hungary has been damaged [by the scandal] is easy to answer: not at all because it couldn’t have been any lower,” he added.

Orbán has had a turbulent relationship with the legislature, which this year passed a report calling his country an “electoral autocracy” amid concerns about corruption and perceived rule-of-law violations and threats to democracy.

“I find it funny,” Orbán said during a recent visit to Belgrade, Serbia’s capital. “The only reason we don’t laugh at it is because we’re bored of it. It’s a boring joke. It’s the third or fourth time they’ve passed a resolution condemning Hungary in the European Parliament. At first, we thought it was significant. But now we see it as a joke.”

At this week’s press conference, the 59-year-old leader seemed amused that the same parliament condemning his perceived autocratic style has been rocked by scandal.

He spoke with reporters after the EU froze more than 12 billion euros ($12 billion) in funding to Hungary over worries that his government cracked down on judicial and media independence, oversaw corruption, and limited minority rights.

He suggested an agreement was still possible within days, though Brussels has clarified that Budapest should make more concessions to access the money.


The lack of funding put additional pressure on Hungary, struggling with one of the highest inflation rates in Europe and a floundering currency, as well as skyrocketing prices.

In November, the inflation rate was over 22 percent, while Hungary’s forint currency was down nearly 10 percent against the euro since the beginning of the year.

Orbán, who denied the alleged wrongdoing charges, has also come under pressure over his refusal to support all sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. The prime minister, seen as a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, defended his stance, saying sanctions had harmed European economies.

“If it were up to us, there would not be a sanctions policy,” Orbán exclaimed, adding that he would not support any additional sanctions but “would not stand in the way” of the EU passing them.

“It is not in our interest to permanently divide the European and Russian economies into two, so we are trying to save what can be saved from our economic cooperation with the Russians,” Orbán said.

Despite financial difficulties, the prime minister pledged to increase teachers’ salaries who have been involved in massive anti-government protests. Several teachers were fired for involvement in actions criticizing the Orbán cabinet, raising eyebrows in Brussels.


Orbán, who claims to be a pro-Christian and pro-family politician, also pledged to unveil a program that would eliminate income taxes until the age of 30 for women who have children.

He earlier made similar promises to people younger than 25. It wasn’t clear how he would finance these measures without the billions from the EU.

Yet, as Hungary faced a tough festive season, he still promised that his government would reduce inflation to single digits. By next December.

With problems mounting, Orbán said he is not considering resigning despite ruling his nation continuously since 2010. He stressed there are enough people within his rightwing Fidesz party able to do his job but made clear he hopes to continue as prime minister for years to come.

His government also continues a program for supporting persecuted Christians. Critics say Orbán uses the program to halt the influx of refugees seeking protection.
Orbán counters that his government wants to support those facing persecution in their countries and regions.

Hungary has, however, provided refuge to some Christian refugees, Worthy News learned. But as winter sets in, many migrants fleeing war, persecution, and poverty remain outside Hungary’s massive border fence.

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