Brussels, January 18 (MTI) – The MEPs of Hungary’s allied ruling Fidesz and Christian Democratic parties congratulated Antonio Tajani on his election as the new president of the European Parliament on Tuesday evening in Strasbourg.
“The EP will have a president who is a friend of Hungary,” the Fidesz-KDNP group told MTI in a statement late on Tuesday.
With the election of the conservative Italian politician, it is expected that greater focus will be given to Christian values also represented by Fidesz, the group said.
The European Parliament’s composition, however, has not changed, the Fidesz MEPs said, adding that “political attacks mounted by the left are expected to continue against Hungary”.
The Fidesz-KDNP group will continue to strenuously uphold Hungary’s interests in Brussels.
MEP Tibor Szanyi of Hungary’s opposition Socialist Party said in a statement that “Fidesz and the liberals want to direct the European Parliament as part of a grand coalition … From Hungary’s point of view, all this means is that Fidesz will team up with anyone to attain and keep hold of power: in Hungary with the far right, in Europe with the liberals.”
“The vote reflected a strong political will of the European Parliament to isolate anti-EU, populist extremists,” he added.
The Socialist expressed hope after the vote that “by considering European values in the first place, the EPP would also draw conclusions and finally exclude Fidesz from its ranks”.
The green opposition LMP said on Wednesday that by supporting Tajani, Fidesz had aided a politician who promotes austerity measures and neo-liberal economic policies. Instead of representing the people, Tajani has always promoted the interests of economic lobbies, MEP Tamas Meszerics and LMP presidium member Péter Ungár said in a joint statement.
Socialist deputy leader István Ujhelyi insisted that Fidesz had made an “anti-Orbán pact” in the EP when the European People’s Party, which includes representatives of Fidesz, struck a deal with the Liberals group. Tajani’s placement reflects a “background deal” involving obligations that are contrary to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s “anti-European policies and efforts”. Fidesz has either given up on its “senseless freedom fight” or it has turned its back on the government, Ujhelyi added.
Photo: MTI/EPA/Patrick Seeger