Peter Magyar – Photo: Facebook

EP candidates’ debate focuses on EU defence, migration

Representatives of eleven organisations running in the European parliamentary election held a debate in Budapest on Thursday, focusing on EU defence and security, migration, agriculture and the rule of law.

The debate held between EP candidates of Fidesz-KDNP, the Tisza party, LMP, the alliance of Democratic Coalition (DK), the Socialists and Parbeszed, as well as Jobbik, the Everyone’s Hungary People’s Party, Momentum, the Two-tailed dog party (MKKP), Mi Hazank, the Megoldas movement and the Masodik Reformkor party was broadcasted by public current affairs channel M1.

Tamas Deutsch, the head of Fidesz’s delegation to the EP, said the “terrible” war in Ukraine had killed over half a million and displaced 10 million people, including ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia. “And yet, the dollar left insists Hungary is at war and wants to send soldiers as well as weapons to Ukraine,” he said, accusing the leftist parties of acting at the behest of the “pro-war Soros network financing them”.

“We are on the cusp of a watershed moment deciding whether Europe will enter the war,” he said.

Peter Marki-Zay of the Everyone’s Hungary party rejected the charge, saying no one wanted war in Europe. The only foreign minister who did not vote for the EU’s peace plan was Peter Szijjarto, he added. “While even Prime Minister Viktor Orban admits that NATO is Hungary’s only protection against a war criminal mass murderer, [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, he stood in the way of Sweden’s NATO integration,” he added.

Peter Rona of Jobbik said Orban’s “anti-EU policies” were grist to Russia’s mills, undermined the EU’s security and hindered a united security policy.

He called on all contenders, “especially Peter Magyar” of the Tisza party, to re-consider “their support for Orban’s foreign policy”, warning that otherwise Hungary may be pushed out of the European community.

Magyar said the EU’s security depended on that of its member states, and he slammed the government for firing 2,000 “well-trained servicemen from the Hungarian Armed Forces, which is already in a pitiful state”. He accused the government of using the state of emergency, which has been in force for two years, to govern by decree.

Laszlo Toroczkai of Mi Hazank called on all candidates to make clear which party family their group was planning to join in the European Parliament. Mi Hazank will join a new group to represent a stand for peace, with parties such as Germany’s Alternative fur Deutschland, he said.

Regarding migration, Peter Ungar of LMP pointed to global warming as the main cause of the issue. The problem, he said, would not be solved based on the decisions of individual consumers but only by taxing the large corporations largely responsible for it. Ungar lamented that “the Hungarian government, European liberals and the [European] People’s Party stands in the way of that step”.

Klara Dobrev, the top candidate of the DK-Socialist-Parbeszed coalition, slammed the government for freeing 2,000 people smugglers from prison.

Furthermore, although the government “loudly advertises” its commitment to protect the jobs of Hungarians, “Fidesz-tied work agencies have brought in 120,000 guest workers from the Far East, making lots of money on the deal,” she said. Dobrev insisted the companies planned to bring in another 200,000 guest workers, which could lead to Hungarians being fired and wages depressed.

Deutsch said: “Illegal migrants are flooding Europe with the help of Brussels and the Soros empire.” While Hungarians reject illegal migration, leftist parties in Europe “have forced through a migration pact” that would settle migrants in Hungary, he said.

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