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EPP president says expulsion of Hungary's Fidesz party to be discussed

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaking at a business conference
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaking at a business conference -
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaking at a business conference - REUTERS
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The president of the European People's Party (EPP) has confirmed that the expulsion of Hungary's Fidesz party is on the agenda of the organisation's March 20 meeting in Brussels.

It comes after twelve EPP member parties from nine countries requested the exclusion or suspension of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's ruling party, EPP President Joseph Daul told Die Welt newspaper.

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

Manfred Weber, the top conservative candidate for the upcoming EU elections, told Bild on Monday that Orban needed to stop his anti-EU rhetoric if he wanted his party to remain, accusing him of distorting the truth about immigration into the bloc.

Weber set out three conditions:

  • An end to the government's campaign against Brussels
  • An apology to members of the EPP
  • Ensure the continuation of the Central European University's operation in Budapest

Orban's party said in an emailed statement, "Fidesz does not want to leave the (European) People's Party, our goal is for anti-immigration forces to gain strength within the EPP".

It comes off the back of Orban's latest campaign on Brussels' immigration policy, with which he finds himself at odds.

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

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