Orban lashes out at European Parliament's 'attack on the Hungarian people'

EU Parliament to Debate Possible Sanctions Against Hungary

EU Parliament to Debate Possible Sanctions Against Hungary

Human rights NGOs enthusiastically welcomed the European Parliament's approval to start punitive Article 7 proceedings against Hungary on Wednesday (12 September), after a vote that revealed deep divisions inside the biggest political family, the European People's Party.

"All my solidarity. No to sanctions and to trials of freely elected governments", read the post by Salvini, who is also Italy's Deputy Prime Minister.

Eight Bulgarian MEPs, including five from the European Popular Party, EPP, one from the Socialists and Democrats, S&D, and two from the Conservatives and Reformists group, ECR, opposed the motion.

On Wednesday the European Parliament voted 448-197 in favor of a report recommending the launch of a so-called Article 7 procedure, which could lead to the suspension of Hungary's EU voting rights.

"But the reality of it is that, when it is in the european Parliament, it is a support of bonded labour in all the circumstances of the construction of a european federalist who seeks the demise of the nations", said on RTL Ms. Le Pen.

"This decision condemning Hungary and the Hungarian people was made because we Hungarians have demonstrated that migration in not a necessary process and that migration can be stopped", Szijjarto added in comments to reporters in Budapest.

"A resounding majority of MEPs today rejected and condemned the retrograde policies of the Hungarian government, which are taking Hungary away from the path of shared European Union values".

Orban has faced worldwide condemnation over Hungary's electoral system, violations of press freedoms, undermining the judiciary, Islamophobia and the mistreatment of asylum seekers and refugees, and limits on the functioning of non-governmental organisations.

If approved, the motion would theoretically open the way for sanctions such as a suspension of Hungary's voting rights in the European Union - but in practice that is sure to be blocked by Orban's ally, the nationalist government in Poland.

"The Hungarian people deserve better", Sargentini said.

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Mr Szijjarto said Hungary was considering legal options to appeal against the result because of the way the vote was tallied.

The European parliament has voted to pursue disciplinary action against Hungary over alleged breaches of the EU's core values.

But the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, launched similar steps under article seven against Poland in December a year ago over its alleged threat to the independence of the courts.

"If need be, we will stand up to you", said Orban, whose right-wing Fidesz party was re-elected with a landslide majority last April.

Dutch anti-Islam campaigner and MP Geert Wilders described the vote on Twitter as "a bloody shame".

"Democracy in our member states and in our European Union can not exist without the rule of law", Timmermans said, and went on to list concerns about fundamental rights, corruption in Hungary and the treatment of migrants.

After the vote, Sargentini thanked her colleagues for standing up "for the protection of democracy and the rule of law, above their interest in party politics".

Orban has insisted that all of the criticism against his government is based on Hungary's tough anti-immigration policies, which include fences built in 2015 on Hungary's southern borders with Serbian and Croatia to divert the flow of migrants and very restrictive asylum rules. Should the EPP move against it, Fidesz would be under huge pressure to leave the group.

"We are going back to a European history none of us want to see again", said European Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans.

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