Orban Seeks to Quell Talk of Hungary’s EU Exit as Elections Loom
(Bloomberg) -- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban ruled out an exit from the European Union, according to a senior adviser, seeking to quell speculation fueled by statements made by some of his allies.
The premier, who’s been embroiled in conflicts with the bloc on issues from power consolidation to LGBTQ rights, defended EU membership at an annual picnic of his supporters at the weekend, said Deputy Minister Balazs Orban, who’s also his policy director.
“The Hungarian prime minister said, verbatim, that even if the European Union collapsed, we’re going to be among the last ones holding up the last beam, working to stop it and reverse it,” the deputy minister told state radio on Sunday.
The prime minister’s comments come as Hungary’s opposition alliance kicked off its primaries before next year’s general elections, with the aim of rolling back Orban’s influence and settling conflicts with the EU.
EU membership, which channels billions of euros annually to Hungary and also secures passport-free travel, is widely supported in the nation, including among Orban’s voters. Orban’s Fidesz party and the united opposition bloc are running neck and neck in the most polls.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.