The latest, pre-European election round of pressure exerted on the Hungarian conservative Fidesz party is pushing it out of the European People’s Party.
EPP demands that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban accepts three requests which are unacceptable to the sovereignist leader. These include an end to his public campaign of criticism of the European Union, an apology toward EPP leaders he criticized – such as European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, and to ensure that the George Soros Central European University operates from Budapest.
Orban received a letter from EPP candidate for President of the European Commission Manfred Weber, who claims that Hungary has caused damage to the conservative party. EPP faced renewed pressure to ostracize Orban, especially from left wing media outlets and politicians, in the run up to the European elections.
These conditions were concocted so that Fidesz couldn’t meet them. CEU in particular is symbolic – it’s a wall and it can’t be surmounted, Tamas Lanczi, a political analyst at the Szazadveg think-tank in Budapest that advises the Government, told Bloomberg.
The left and more centrist EPP leaders blame Orban for his push to enforce European borders and restrict the movement of illegal migrants from Africa and the Middle East. Orban has blamed Soros of funding the campaign to open Europe’s borders and claims that the billionaire is also funding and influencing European politicians to accomplish his pet project.