June 3, 2019
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has distanced himself and his party from potentially joining a populist group in the European Parliament led by Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini.
Prime Minister Orbán’s chief of staff Gergely Gulyás held a press conference earlier this week explaining that Orbán’s party Fidesz wished to remain a member of the notionally centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), which includes Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) — despite having been suspended from the group in March, Reuters reports.
“We respect the Italian deputy prime minister and the Italian government and the result, which made the Northern League Italy’s strongest party after the European Parliament election,” Gulyas said, but added: “Nonetheless, I see not much chance for a co-operation on a party level or in a joint parliamentary group.”
The announcement comes after months of speculation on a potential alliance between Orbán and Salvini after the pair had vowed some form of co-operation in August last year, when the Hungarian leader labelled the Italian his “hero” for largely halting illegal migrants coming to Italy via the Mediterranean Sea.
This article was posted: Monday, June 3, 2019 at 1:46 am