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The opposition Socialist Party has called on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “not to flee” the European People’s Party. Socialist Party leader Bertalan Tóth said Orbán was organising a “populist far-right political community in Europe which would have a negative impact on all European citizens, including Hungarians”. Tóth said the prime minister was allying himself with “extremist parties” that are open about their good relationships with Russian President Vladimir Putin and were working to divide Europe. He said Orbán’s policies were gradually marginalising Hungary, which he said was especially dangerous now that EU member states are busy negotiating the bloc’s next budget.
Commenting on the suggestion that Orbán has called for calm over the Fidesz-EPP dispute and the head of the Prime Minister’s Office saying that Fidesz wants to contest the European parliamentary elections as a member of the EPP, Tóth said the issue was not about Fidesz wanting to quit the EPP, but rather about 12 EPP members having called for the Hungarian ruling party’s expulsion from the centre-right bloc.