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'If Fidesz is not part of the EPP mainstream, it has no place in the party,' says Juncker

'If Fidesz is not part of the EPP mainstream, it has no place in the party,' says Juncker
Copyright Euronews
Copyright Euronews
By Maria Psara
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Europe's biggest political grouping, the European People's Party, is facing a reckoning over the membership of Hungary's ruling party Fidesz.

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Hungary's ruling Fidesz party should agree with mainstream thinking in the European Parliament's largest political grouping or face expulsion, ex-EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker has told Euronews.

Fidesz, the party of Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban, was suspended from the European People's Party (EPP) in March.

EPP said Fidesz's anti-EU rhetoric was unacceptable and that it had concerns about rules of law, democracy and press freedom in Hungary.

Donald Tusk, who was elected as  EPP's new president in November, is set to give an update on the group's relationship with Fidesz in February.

"I made my point of view very clear for years now," said Juncker, former president of the European Commission. 

"I am in favour either of having Fidesz agreeing with the basic and main principles of the Christian Democracy or Fidesz has to be ejected. 

"If Fidesz is not part of the mainstream thinking and behaviour of the EPP there is no place for Fidesz inside the EPP. 

"But I am not in charge of this question anymore."

Juncker was also asked about suggestions Fidesz could team up with Italy's far-right, led by Matteo Salvini.

"I don't know how far this effort is going," commented Juncker, "I don't have any knowledge about the relations between Salvini and Viktor Orban, but Salvini is far away from the basic thing of the European Christian Democracy.

Salvini's League party has 28 MEPs and is in a grouping called Identity and Democracy with France's National Rally and Alternative for Germany.

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