Budapest, February 2 (MTI) – Opposition Socialist deputy leader and MEP István Újhelyi called on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Tuesday to give details of any backroom deal he may have made with British Premier David Cameron.
A first “working document of compromises” has been issued which is expected to represent the basis of a potential agreement between the European Union and Britain, Újhelyi said in a statement. “Some points of this document, such as the withdrawal of jobseekers’ allowance, is completely unacceptable from Hungary’s point of view,” he added.
At the next European Council meeting, Orbán will have “an obligation to protect, by all possible means, the interests of European employers, including the rights and justifiable interests of several hundreds of thousands of Hungarians”, Újhelyi said. The EU should seek compromises and the consent of its members, he added.
The leftist opposition Democratic Coalition called on Orbán not to support any initiative that may hamper the rights of Hungarians working in Britain or restrict their access to social benefits. MEP Csaba Molnár said his party considers it “unacceptable” that an EU member state threatening to leave the bloc “is trying to force its will” onto the other member states. “In Europe this is called blackmail,” Molnár said referring to Britain’s demands of EU reform.
The opposition Dialogue for Hungary (PM) party said that should Orbán “fail to take action” after the release of the working document, he would be giving up on representing the interests of Hungarians working in other EU countries and in the process violate his oath of office. Bence Tordai, the party’s spokesman, said Orbán had “betrayed” Hungarians “fleeing from the Fidesz regime” when he “surrendered” to Cameron at their meeting in January.
President of the European Council Donald Tusk issued on Tuesday a package of proposals for EU regulatory reforms based on talks with the British government. Member states will be expected to decide on recommendations at an EU summit in the second half of February.