Budapest, Hungary – Prime Minister Viktor Orban has dismissed allegations that Hungary would potentially seek to leave the EU under his leadership, Bloomberg reported, citing one of his close advisors.
“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,” said deputy Minister and the PM’s policy director, Balasz Orban, on state radio.
The comments came amid mounting speculation over whether or not Viktor Orban, who for years has been at loggerheads with the EU on a multitude of topics ranging from migration to rule of law and press freedom, was slowly preparing Hungary to exit the bloc in the future.
Rumours were fueled by statements from several of his close allies and has come against the backdrop of years of escalating conflict between Brussels and Budapest.
A recent op-ed published by a prominent Fidesz propagandist in pro-government outlet Magyar Nemzet has been making some waves, sparking a heated debate on “Huxit” only months before crucial parliamentary elections. “The article on leaving the EU was written at Orban’s behest and in Orban’s interests,” speculated Klara Dobrev, one of the opposition candidates for the premiership next year.
Orban himself never declared any intention to take Hungary out of the union, but has repeatedly criticized the EU, which it accuses – among other things – of undermining Hungarian national sovereignty, of having forsaken its Christian roots and of doing the bidding of pro-migration and pro-LGBT lobbies.
While he described Brexit as a “brave decision” that safeguarded the “good reputation” of the British people and said it was “mainly a mistake of the European Union”, he nevertheless added that Hungary “can’t afford to follow that track”.
Polls show that a wide majority of Hungarians are in favour of their country’s membership to the EU, with the financial benefits, along with freedom of movement, often cited as its main advantages.