Budapest (MTI) – The European People’s Party (EPP) does not intend to expel Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party from its faction, EPP MEP Monika Hohlmeier said in an interview in daily Magyar Hirlap’s Saturday edition.

The German politician representing Bavaria’s CSU was asked about harsh criticism voiced by some EPP MEPs in connection with Fidesz, for example by her Luxembourg peer Frank Engel, and whether it reflected the EPP faction’s position.

“Although I cannot speak on behalf of the faction, I can say this: we are not against Fidesz. We would not think of expelling the Hungarian governing party from the group; really there are just one or two people who are calling for something like this,” Hohlmeier said.

She said she was very pleased to learn that Prime Minister Viktor Orban had made it repeatedly clear that the Hungarian government had no intention of introducing the death penalty.

Concerning immigration, she urged cooperation, saying that the issue is rather familiar to Germany, and Bavaria in particular.

“We must clearly separate the issues of illegal immigrants, refugees and people arriving from other EU member states,” the EPP MEP said. She added that she would have proposed including “more neutrally phrased questions” in the Hungarian national consultation questionnaire on migration.

Hohlmeier said she regretted that Hungary “is constantly just criticised when it should earn praise for many things”.

Despite all of the problems and obstacles, the country is fighting hard for the integration of the Roma, it is doing a lot more than for instance Romania or Bulgaria, she said.

The country’s economy is on a growth-path which is not the case in several other EU member states, she said, “so, the government must be doing something well.”


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