EU's Juncker 'will congratulate' Orban election win

Orban's win looks set to prolong Budapest's fractious, confrontational relationship with the EU.

EU's Juncker 'will congratulate' Orban election win

World Bulletin / News Desk

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker will write to Hungary's Viktor Orban to congratulate him on his "clear victory" in parliamentary elections and will hold phone talks with the anti-immigrant premier, a spokesman said Monday.

"President Juncker will write to Prime Minister Orban today to congratulate him on his party's clear victory in yesterday's Hungarian parliamentary elections," European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters at a regular briefing.

Brussels has repeatedly clashed with the premier over his hardline anti-immigration policies and rejection of the EU's refugee resettlement programme, as well as his moves to clamp down on civil society groups.

Juncker is set to speak to Orban by phone on Tuesday, and Schinas issued an apparent veiled warning to the Hungarian leader, who has been defiant in the face of EU criticism and legal action.

"The European Union is a union of democracies and values. President Juncker and the commission believe that the defence of these values and principles is a common duty for all member states, without exception," Schinas said.

Orban's Fidesz party belongs to the same European grouping -- the European People's Party (EPP) -- as Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which some critics say has given the hardliner political over in Brussels.

The nationalist Fidesz party won around 49 percent of the vote, an improvement on its score from four years ago. The result may even give Fidesz a two-thirds majority in parliament, which would enable it to change the constitution.

Last Mod: 09 Nisan 2018, 14:31
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