Gulyas: Quitting EPP ‘just a technical issue’
Fidesz, he said, had decided to leave the EPP party and its EP group in order to end “years of dependence”.
Gulyas said he agreed with Soder that the EPP was “no longer a right-wing party”. This, he added, was the reason why Fidesz and EPP had parted ways.
He said the “legendary Bavarian Prime Minister Franz Josef Strauss” and president of the CSU for more than a quarter of a century had stressed the party’s right-wing credentials, whereas Soder said his party was not right wing.
“We continue to represent Franz Josef Strauss’s views,” he said.
“A strong Europe is one in which our national sovereignty is strongest,” he said, adding that Manfred Weber, the Bavarian EPP group leader, considered that there was no such thing as national sovereignty.
Fidesz, he said, had not performed an about-turn but rather it had always represented traditional Christian democratic and conservative values.
Gulyas insisted that the EPP of today had disavowed themselves of the legacy of former chancellor Helmut Kohl and Strauss, and could not put up with parties in its ranks that opposed migration and believed in the traditional family model.
He said he agreed with Soder that good Bavaria-Hungary ties should not be compromised by the fact that both would belong to different European party families in the future, adding that he would hold online talks with his German counterpart, Chancellor Braun, on 16 March to underline this position.
Soder called for Fidesz’s membership of the EPP to be rescinded in a statement in Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Saturday, adding that the EPP was “a bourgeois centrist party, not a right-wing party”.