The arrest of an EP vice president shows that the institution lacks safeguards, PM Viktor Orban says
The recent corruption scandal in the European Parliament (EP) is a sign that the EU institution should be abolished in its current form, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Wednesday. He added that the EP already had an abysmal reputation.
Orban’s remarks came after Eva Kaili, a Greek politician who served as one of the European Parliament’s vice presidents, was arrested and charged this month with corruption for receiving bribes from Qatar.
“The Hungarians would like for the European Parliament to be dissolved in its current form,” he said at a press conference in Budapest.
Orban argued that the scandal “draws attention to the fact that national parliaments have a stronger control system in place,” adding that legislators from the parliaments of member states should be delegated to the European Parliament, as opposed to being elected separately.
“And they obviously know our political position: the swamp must be drained,” the prime minister said.
Budapest has repeatedly clashed with the European Parliament and other EU institutions over a number of issues, including migration and LGBTQ rights. Brussels, in turn, accused Orban’s conservative government of eroding the rule of law at home.
Hungary, whose economy heavily depends on Russian energy imports, has also criticized the EU sanctions imposed on Moscow in response to the military operation in Ukraine, which was launched in late February. Unlike many of the bloc’s member states, Orban has refused to send weapons to Kiev.
“If it were up to us, there would not be a sanctions policy,” Orban said on Wednesday. “It is not in our interest to permanently divide the European and Russian economies into two, so we are trying to save what can be saved from our economic cooperation with the Russians.”
December 22, 2022 at 01:25PM