Budapest, October 16 (MTI) – Tibor Szanyi, an MEP of the opposition Socialists, has resigned as the head of the European parliamentary delegation of the Socialists and the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK). His resignation, tendered late last night, was accepted by members of the delegation.
Szanyi was replaced by the Socialist Istvan Ujhelyi at the head of the four-member Socialist-DK group in the wake of a scandal involving Szanyi’s invitation of far-right bikers to Brussels to settle a bet, a statement from the delegation said.
Szanyi apologised on Wednesday for his insensitivity that may have “hurt some people’s feelings”.
Szanyi was slapped on the wrist by his party’s disciplinary committee for hosting members of an organisation called the Goy Motorists.
Party spokeswoman Bernadett Budai said the disciplinary committee had given Szanyi a warning but did not find him guilty of misconduct because he did not purposely violate the party’s basic rules. He was asked to refrain from similar action in the future.
Later in the day, the Socialists’ national board discussed the matter and ordered Szanyi to repay in full the cost of entertaining the far-righters. The body issued a position and distanced itself from Szanyi’s “mindless, ill-considered and morally unacceptable acts”.
Szanyi told the press before the committee meeting that he had been “very wrong” to think that it would be possible to take “people far to the right of me” closer to European values.
In connection with the Democratic Coalition’s call for Szanyi to be fired as head of the Socialists’ EP delegation, Szanyi said in a statement that he was “fully open” to re-negotiations of any kind but only after people who acquired positions under his leadership also resign from their posts.
According to press reports, in 2013 Szanyi made a bet with the bikers that if the left lost in the spring parliamentary election, he would invite the bikers to Brussels and pay for their hotel, meals and fuel. In turn if the left-wing won, then the bikers would have had to invite Szanyi to dinner.