Tamás Deutsch, an MEP of ruling Fidesz, has sent a letter to members of the European People’s Party apologising for his critical remarks about the conservative party family’s European Parliamentary group and its leader, saying he had no intention of offending them.
Earlier this month, Austrian EPP MEP Othmar Karas filed a motion for his political grouping to expel Deutsch from its EP group over comments he had made comparing the EPP and its group leader Manfred Weber’s support for the European Union’s rule of law mechanism to the Gestapo and Stalinist dictatorial methods.
According to Euronews, Deutsch told that “Weber’s comments were reminiscent of the Gestapo and (Hungary’s communist-era secret police) the ÁVH”.
“If you have nothing to hide, you don’t have to be afraid. I well remember that the Gestapo and the ÁVO [ÁVH] had the same motto,” Deutsch said. “That’s what they said. It’s like it was the historical experience of those living in Germany and Hungary at the time they had fears who had nothing to cover up.
“Manfred Weber is not telling the truth because there are subjective assessments of the rights of the European Union that are in line with current political opinions and disguised as his rights”.
Speaking to the Hungarian media in Brussels on Tuesday, Deutsch said it was the EPP’s unity and diversity that made it the strongest European party. He said the grouping would become weaker if it attempted to make changes that would affect its diversity.
he expects Wednesday’s EPP meeting on the motion for his expulsion to be “calmer and more relaxed” than past meetings.
“In order to avoid any misunderstandings, I take back the comparison I made . so that it doesn’t cause any further tensions within the EPP,” Deutsch said.
He said Hungary’s Fidesz and Christian Democrat MEPs intended to continue their work within the EP as members of the EPP.
In his letter, Deutsch reiterated that it was not his intention to offend anyone with his comments.
“It was a mistake on my part, for which I am sorry,” he wrote. “Also, I take back the unfortunate comparison I used.”
Deutsch expressed hope that the EP group would be able to “cool tensions” and continue working together “for the betterment of our common European Union in a moment of crisis when unity is more needed than ever”.
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