Prime Minister Viktor Orbán - Photo: PMO

Orbán meets farmers protesting in Brussels

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met farmers protesting in downtown Brussels on Wednesday, and said European leadership must heed the voice of the people more, the prime minister's press chief said. Earlier in the evening, Orbán had talks with Mateusz Morawiecki, the former Polish prime minister, Bertalan Havasi said.
1. February 2024 7:13

Orbán told Belgian journalists that a “new elite” was needed in Europe, because “the voice of the people in the street is not being taken seriously, be it on migration or the war in Ukraine … that is a democratic deficit.”

The European Union “does not respect adequately” that agriculture is an important component of the European economy, Orbán said. Many countries introduced regulations that made their situation more difficult, he said, adding that much laxer regulations on Ukrainian agriculture had created an “unfair competition”.

“We Hungarians, Poles and Slovaks are the first to feel that burden, as we live in Ukraine’s neighbourhood. But the danger and loss will sooner or later reach the inside of the continent, and will be felt here, in Brussels, as well as in France and Spain,” he said.

That trend must be stopped, Orbán said.

“The European Commission must represent the interests of European farmers against Ukrainians, not the other way around,” he said.

He called for stopping the import of Ukrainian produce, adding that discrepancies in the circumstances and conditions of agriculture harmed European farmers.

Orbán called for a “complete leadership overhaul in Brussels”.

“These leaders will never make decisions in favour of the farmers.”

“We need new leaders truly representing the interests of the people,” he said, referring to the European parliamentary elections in June.

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