Budapest (MTI) – Politicians discussed issues concerning Hungary’s European Union membership at an economic conference on Wednesday, but none of the participants advocated an actual exit from the union as such.
The conference entitled “Does the Hungarian economy have a future outside the European Union?” included a five-party debate, where state secretary Nándor Csepreghy said on behalf of the government that there is no future for Hungary outside the EU. He said it was “narrow-minded” to interpret the government’s criticism of the system as a sign of wanting Hungary to leave the EU.
Daniel Z Kárpát, a spokesman for the Jobbik party, said his party did not want an exit in the short term, but it urged the government to make an assessment of the benefits and drawbacks to membership, as in the long period since Hungary’s accession negative circumstances in the country have not changed fundamentally. He added that while economically Hungary’s was an integral part of the European scene and should remain so, the political centralisation is unacceptable.
Speaking for the Socialists, Attila Mesterházy, noted that Jobbik had openly advocated the need for Hungary’s exit from the EU for a long time. He added that he is all the more interested in Fidesz’s position on the issue, as “one of the main reasons why the EU is weak in some respects is Prime Minister Viktor Orbán himself”. Mesterházy added that statistics prove that Hungary is one of the largest beneficiaries of EU transfers.
Zoltan Bognár, a spokesman for the Liberal Party, said Hungary must remain in the EU and added that some remarks by government politicians questioning the benefits of EU membership were “worrying”.
LMP’s Erzsébet Schmuck also voted to remain, but said the four principles of freedoms, namely the free movement of capital, goods and workers as well as the freedom to establish and provide services, must be reconsidered.
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