Juncker Lashes Out at Hungary's Orban for Spreading Fake News

(Bloomberg) -- European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker accused Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban -- who’s drawn the ire of the European Union for testing the boundaries of the rule of law -- of spreading disinformation.

“I made it very clear to the European Council that some of the prime ministers sitting around there, they are the origin of fake news,” Juncker told reporters in Brussels after a meeting of the EU’s 28 leaders. “When Mr. Orban, for example, is saying that I’m responsible, guilty for the Brexit: fake news. When he’s saying that migrants are responsible for the Brexit: fake news.”

Juncker Lashes Out at Hungary's Orban for Spreading Fake News
Juncker Lashes Out at Hungary's Orban for Spreading Fake News

Orban has been consolidating power in Hungary, and last September the European Parliament called for his government to face possible sanctions for eroding democratic standards. The conflict highlights the clash between pro-EU politicians and populists as candidates prepare for bloc-wide legislative elections in May.

During the summit in Brussels, EU leaders discussed the issue of fake news and concluded that “the spread of deliberate, large-scale, and systematic disinformation, including as part of hybrid warfare, is an acute and strategic challenge for our democratic systems.”

Juncker reserved his anger for those inside the room. “So let’s not put all the responsibility on others, let’s check in around who is the news faker,” he said.

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