Hungary's Orban wants his party to stay in EPP, calls for EPP reform

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BUDAPEST, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Hungary's ruling party Fidesz should stay within the European People's Party (EPP) of the European Parliament, but the EPP should be changed, according to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who spoke on the public radio MR1 here Friday.

"There is a chance that in the end Fidesz will find its place outside the EPP, but I would still prefer to reform the group to accommodate anti-migration forces," Orban said in the interview.

Earlier in the week, EPP leader Manfred Weber outlined three conditions that Hungary's ruling Fidesz party would have to fulfill in order to remain in the European People's Party.

Firstly, according to Weber, Orban must "immediately and definitively end his government's campaign against Brussels"; secondly, he must apologize to all EPP member parties and finally, allow the Central European University to remain in Budapest.

Orban addressed the ruling party's relations with the EPP: "Europe is currently undergoing a transformation...migration has changed our life."

"This transformation touches the European Union, but it also has upended the traditional left-right division in European politics. That landscape is being replaced by a new one, a contest between pro-migration MEPs and those who don't support migration," he explained.

"We won't compromise on the issue of the protection of Christian culture and migration. Everything else is open for discussion," Orban stressed.

The observations of Orban fall in the context of a current push from a dozen fellow parties of the EPP, who moved to expel Fidesz from the EPP, arguing it has crossed many "red lines" over the recent years.

The Hungarian government faces criticism from the European Union -- shared by the majority of the EPP itself -- regarding the situation of democracy in Hungary.

But the last drop in the glass in the eyes of Brussels had been a campaign launched by the Hungarian government on Feb. 20, aimed against the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

With billboards on every street, in metro-stations, in the print and electronic media, the campaign accuses Hungarian-born American billionaire George Soros and Juncker of supporting illegal migration, which was immediately and strongly rejected by Brussels.

On Thursday, the Hungarian government announced that it would put an end to the controversial campaign as of March 15. Enditem

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