French far-right leader Le Pen, Hungarian PM Orban slam EU in Budapest

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French far-right leader Marine Le Pen and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban jointly criticised the European Union and the European Commission on Tuesday (October 26), during the French politician’s visit to the Hungarian capital.

Le Pen said the EU had become “intoxicated by its own existence” while Orban said the Commission had transformed into an “ideology centre.”

“The ideological pressuring has reached levels never seen before,” Orban told reporters during the joint news conference.

The Hungarian prime minister is running for re-election in the 2022 parliamentary elections while Le Pen, leader of the French Rassemblement National (RN), is a candidate in France’s presidential election in 2022.

For the first time since he came to power in 2010, Orban will face a united front of opposition parties that also includes the socialists, liberals and the formerly far-right, now centre-right, Jobbik.

While stating that Hungary’s interest is to remain a member of a strong European Union, Orban’s government, with its main ally Poland, have clashed with Brussels over media freedom, rule of law issues and LGBT rights.

In her speech, Le Pen has accused Brussels of using “rare violence” against Poland and Hungary over their rule of law disputes.

In October, Polish Constitutional Tribunal ruled that parts of European Union treaties were incompatible with its constitution, plunging Poland’s relations with Brussels into crisis.

Le Pen, who met with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Friday (October 22), vowed to hold a referendum on amending the French constitution to have primacy over EU law if she wins the presidential election.

“Nations know that in this judiciary debate their existence is at stake,” she said during the news conference in Budapest.

In July, sixteen European right-wing populist parties, including Orban’s Fidesz, Le Pen’s RN and Poland’s ruling Law and Justice, signed a declaration against more integration and called for reforms.

“We see that the European political sphere is transforming, and we would not like to be the victims of these changes,” Orban said.

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