Mitsotakis Asks EPP to Suspend Participation of Orban's Party

Αssociated Press

FILE - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses his supporters in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, April 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

ATHENS - In a letter sent late on Monday to the head of the European Peoples' Party (EPP) Joseph Daul, main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis asked for the suspension of Hungary's Fidesz's party led by Viktor Orban, from the ranks of the EPP.

In his letter, Mitsotakis stressed that "a party cannot benefit from the privileges of its participation in the EPP but at the same time refuse to share in the cost of policies that require European-wide burden sharing," while accusing Orban, especially over his attitude on migration, of violating the principle of European solidarity.

"The entire administrative burden of EU border control cannot fall exclusively on the border countries," he noted, adding that the circumventing of fundamental constitutional principles, intervention in justice and the attempt to control the media are practices that are not only confined to the Orban government.

The National Herald

FILE - New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis during an interview with the US news channel CNBC. (Photo by ND Press Office/Dimitris Papamitsos via Eurokinissi)

"These are practices that apply to all populist governments, irrespective of their ideological origins. And of course, they apply to my homeland, Greece, where the SYRIZA government systematically undermines democratic institutions and the rule of law."

Mitsotakis undnerlined that "a clear message must be sent to our Hungarian friends that their behaviour can no longer be tolerated."