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Exclusive: Orban's Fidesz party to back Manfred Weber as EPP group leader

Exclusive: Orban's Fidesz party to back Manfred Weber as EPP group leader
By Sandor Zsiros
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The news marks a major U-turn for the Hungarian prime minister, who has long been at odds with the centre-right spitzenkandidat.


Hungary's Fidesz MEPs will support the re-election of Manfred Weber as the head of the centre-right European People's Party group in a vote on Wednesday, said a senior European Parliament source to Euronews.

It marks a major U-turn by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has repeatedly said Weber violated Hungarians and is, therefore, not suited to lead as EU Commission president.

Euronews' parliamentary source also confirmed a Népszava news report that said Fidesz MEPs will continue to be members of the European People's Party, despite the fact that the EPP suspended their membership in the spring.

How it all began

Tension between Orbán and Weber went public back in February, when the German MEP said he did not want to become Commission president with the support of Fidesz.

In May, Orbán made clear his resistance, saying: “We would have liked Mr. Weber as Commission president. But he has announced not only that he would not need the votes of the Hungarians, but that he would not want to become president with those votes."

Weber said last week in a Twitter message, the group was unanimous in the fight for the European Commission presidency.

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