Government spokesman Zoltán Kovács on Friday dismissed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s recent remark that Hungary’s prime minister “no longer has a place” in the European People’s Party as “personal revenge” on Juncker’s part for Viktor Orbán’s refusal to back his presidential bid four years ago.
In an interview to French daily Le Monde published earlier in the day, Juncker said of Orbán:
“Although I respect the man, I see a lot of incompatibilities between what he says and the Christian democratic values on which the EPP is based. Unless he can guarantee to us that he will respect the fundamental values of the EPP and its election programme.”
Kovács said on Twitter that Juncker’s comments were “worth no answer”, adding that Orbán and Juncker’s differences over the issue of migration “just make it more evident” that Juncker’s remarks were about revenge. “We’re never going to agree to the pro-migration stance he represents,” Kovács said.
At an informal European Union summit in Salzburg last month, Juncker had already proposed at a meeting of the EPP that Hungary’ ruling Fidesz party should be frozen out of the grouping.
Antal Rogán, the cabinet chief, called it “unfortunate” that the EC president had put forward his proposal when Orbán was no longer in the room. Orbán had left to attend a meeting with Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian Chancellor. In spite of this, the EPP members present at the meeting decisively rejected Juncker’s proposal, Rogán said.