Budapest, June 25 (MTI) – Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has to rethink his approach to the European Union in light of Britain’s decision to quit the bloc, Ferenc Gyurcsány, leader of the leftist opposition Democratic Coalition, said on Saturday.
Orbán should consider if it is really worth weakening already frail European unity by pursuing anti-refugee policies “for the sake of an extra few hundred thousand votes”, Gyurcsány said at a session of the Community of Democratic Representatives, an organisation within his party.
Commenting on Brexit, the former prime minister warned against the danger of “conflating politics with history”, saying that politicians who do this may end up winning elections but at the cost of “losing the country”. “This is the big lesson to be learned from Brexit,” he said.
He said it was important to be able to distinguish party political, election and national interests. Within a single day, Britain found itself on the verge of falling apart, simply because Prime Minister David Cameron wanted to increase his popularity by 2-3 percent, Gyurcsány said.
He said Orbán would now have to decide whether he wants to remain a party politician or give himself a chance to become a responsible statesman for Hungary.
Gyurcsány called on Orbán to withdraw Hungary’s planned referendum on migrant quotas.
Drawing a parallel between the outcome of the British vote and Hungary’s migrant quota referendum, Gyurcsany warned that “political posturing” would lead to Hungary getting kicked out of the EU.
“If the Hungarian prime minister keeps saying that the EU is a bad place then it’s pointless for him to publish an ad in a British paper,” Gyurcsány said, referring to Orban’s advertisement campaigning for the remain vote published in the Daily Mail earlier this week.
He said those who envision a free, prosperous world, have to make it especially clear right now that they are pro-European, adding that Hungarians, too, can be “good Europeans”. Instead of creating tension, “we need to be pushing for peace,” he said.