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Hungary's Fidesz party faces expulsion from European People's Party

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By Mark Armstrong  & Rita Palfi
Hungary's Fidesz party faces expulsion from European People's Party

A growing number of European lawmakers are calling for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's ruling Fidesz party to be excluded from the European People's Party.

The EPP, the largest political grouping in the EU, is an umbrella organisation for conservative, Christian democratic parties in the bloc. Ten EU national leaders belong to the group, putting them in control of the Parliament, the Commission and the Council.

Last week, the Hungarian government launched its latest campaign to inform its citizens on the immigration policy of Brussels, with which it finds itself at odds. All of its claims have been refuted by the European Commission.

As part of its campaign Fidesz used posters with the face of EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, a fellow member of the EPP, as well images of billionaire Hungarian-American investor, George Soros.

Orban's government has accused the pair of wanting to flood Hungary with migrants, something the EC has described as "ludicrous."

Last week, two Swedish conservative parties (the Moderate Party and the Christian Democratic Party) initiated the process of attempting to have Fidesz removed from the EPP.

On Thursday, Juncker's compatriot Frank Engel, an MEP from Luxembourg, said the Flemish Christian Democrats (CD&V), the Walloon Conservative Humanist Democratic Center (CDH) and the Luxembourg Christian Socialist Party (CSV) had sent a letter to EPP President Joseph Daul with a similar request.

In the Portuguese press, the news came out that the Portuguese Democratic and Social Center-People's Party (CDS-PP) had also proposed the exclusion of the Hungarian party.

The Finnish Kokoomus (Christian Democratic Party) has also written a letter to Daul, proposing the exclusion of Fidesz.

According to Petteri Orpo, leader of the party, Fidesz has gone too far, violating EPP values and principles.

Seven different parties from at least five countries have now proposed that the Hungarian party be excluded from the EPP family. That is enough support to put the proposal on the EPP's agenda.

It's next meeting scheduled for March 20 in Brussels.