Opposition Criticises Orbán’s EU Summit Briefing

  • 23 Feb 2016 8:00 AM
Opposition Criticises Orbán’s EU Summit Briefing
The opposition parties criticised Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s parliamentary briefing about last week’s European Union summit. Radical nationalist Jobbik leader Gábor Vona told parliament that it is not enough that Orbán says he refuses the EU migrant quota system but a constitutional amendment is needed to give way to a referendum about the scheme.

Vona asked Orbán to make reference to Jobbik at the next European Union summit in March and say that if the EU forces the quota system onto Hungary then Jobbik will “take people to the streets.”

The opposition Socialists said Hungarians had been “downgraded” at last week’s EU summit and Orbán assisted.

Party leader József Tóbiás told parliament that despite Orbán’s claims of victory, Hungarians now have fewer rights and receive less money in Europe than before.

The leftist Democratic Coalition said that by signing the summit’s closing declaration, Orbán gave his approval to distributing migrants across the EU as quickly as possible.

Quoting a resolution adopted by the European Parliament on migrant quotas that was included in last week’s declaration, MEP Csaba Molnár said that by signing the document, Orbán agreed to allow refugees to be relocated to Hungary.

He said this “U-turn” from the prime minister proved that he lied to those who had signed Fidesz’s antimigrant petition and to all Hungarians whom he had told that Hungary would not admit a single refugee.

The green opposition LMP said Britain’s reform demands go against the need for a “Europe of the people”.

Party co-leader András Schiffer told parliament that the EU does not function properly when it comes to security, welfare and social services, but its institutions are effective when banks’ interests are at stake.

Commenting on migration, he said the issue is being mishandled.

The opposition Együtt said it demands that Orbán should make every effort to prevent the disintegration of the EU.

MP Zsuzsanna Szelényi told a press conference that the Hungarian cabinet should make efforts towards a joint European solution rather than “promote division”.

Dialogue for Hungary party spokesman Bence Tordai said Orbán had been dishonest about the way he said he would handle migration.

He also said that the EU-UK deal meant that Britain had succeeded in “blackmailing” the EU, which he said would have a negative impact on eastern European member states.

The Liberal Party said the restriction of the rights of the 600,000 Hungarian citizens working in the UK can in no way be interpreted as a “victory”.

The party said that Britain’s EU reform deal will put Hungarians working there at a disadvantage.

The Liberals also expressed concern that after the UK-EU deal, Germany, Austria and Denmark may also restrict EU migrants’ access to social benefits.

The party, at the same time, welcomed Orbán’s approval of the EU’s earlier decision on migrant quotas, noting, however, that this step by the prime minister is a change of direction from the government’s earlier anti-migrant and anti-quota campaign.

Source www.hungarymatters.hu - Visit Hungary Matters to sign-up for MTI’s twice-daily newsletter.

MTI photo: Kovács Tamás

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