Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban hinted for the first time that Hungary could leave the European Union during a speech to his supporters on Saturday evening. According to the right-wing nationalist politician, the EU is waging a “holy war, jihad” under the guise of the rule of law. Orban said Europe must be “tolerant” of Hungary, otherwise Brussels and Budapest cannot follow the same path.
Perhaps it was no coincidence that Orban delivered his ruling just days before the European Court of Justice ruled on the EU’s new rule of law mechanism on Wednesday morning, in a case brought by Hungary and Poland. Under this mechanism, EU countries that violate the rule of law can receive less subsidies than Europe.
According to Orbán, the EU must remain united, despite the “cultural alienation” he says has arisen. “Tolerance is the only solution. Only in this way can we stay on the common path.”
EU membership is defended by nearly 80 per cent of Hungary’s population. This isn’t the first time Orban has harshly criticized “Brussels bureaucrats,” but he has never threatened to pull the EU door behind him. On April 3, Hungarians will elect a new parliament. Orbans Fidesz participates in the neck and neck race with the United Opposition.
The EU Court ruling on the European Rule of Law Mechanism will be broadcast live on Saturday.