20:21 GMT02 March 2021
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    The remarks come after Orban’s Fidesz was suspended in the European People's Party (EPP) in late March, not least because of the ruling Hungarian party’s campaign against the European Commission President. Politico’s “gorillas” misprint has, meanwhile, perplexed many netizens.

    Speaking to reporters in the Romanian town of Baile Tusnad, which has a large Hungarian majority, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban specifically touted his party Fidesz’s role in the 2019 July elections, claiming that they “prevented ideological guerrillas from taking up important positions in the EU”.

    He said so in an apparent nod to the leader of the European People's Party (EPP) Manfred Weber and First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans.

    Orban's spokesman Zoltan Kovacs, who live-tweeted his speech, underscored on his Twitter page that what Orban “really said was guerrillas” rather than “gorillas” as one user noted in his comments on Kovacs’ tweet. The word "gorrilas" also appeared in Politico’s article on the matter but was then corrected. 

    The misprint has, meanwhile, already caused an uproar on Twitter.

    Additionally, Orban referred to Germany's former Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, saying, “and to the head of the Commission, we elected a mother of seven children”. Von der Leyen will succeed the Commission’s current President Jean-Claude Juncker.

    According to Orban, “the selection of inappropriate people for the positions of leadership on Europe” would have been one of the main dangers that Hungary is facing as it enters a “reassuring path”.

    In the speech, he blamed the European Commission for launching “political attacks against member states”, including Poland and the Czech Republic which he claimed should be supported rather attacked.

    Separately, Orban touched upon refugees-related issue, stressing that “in place of migration, we should be giving financial assistance to European families so that they will have more children”.

    Budapest's stance on migration

    The Hungarian government, as well as some other European countries, vehemently oppose EU plans to redistribute migrants across the EU.

    A staunch opponent of illegal immigration and migrant quotas in the bloc, Orban described EPP members as “useful idiots” in March as they signalled willingness to exclude Orban’s party from the EPP over accusations of Fidesz violating the rule of law and launching campaign against Juncker over his alleged collaboration with billionaire George Soros to promote illegal migration. On 20 March, the EPP voted to suspend Fidesz from the party.

    Orban has repeatedly stood up against Soros and his NGOs endorsing mass immigration, which he says are meant to weaken the largely Christian European nations.

    To resolve the issue, Hungary’s parliament last year passed a so-called “Stop Soros” bill, criminalising aid to illegal migrants and making it harder for refugees to seek asylum in Hungary. In a parallel move, in the summer of 2018, Soros’ initially Budapest-based foundation’s network announced the relocation of its Hungarian office to Berlin.


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