MEP Balczó on the Sargentini vote: It was not just a political but a moral question, too

The majority of MEPs participating in the European Parliament’s vote approved of the Sargentini report in Strasbourg on Wednesday. The Hungarian governing parties say the vote was invalid because abstentions were not considered as votes cast and that’s how YEAs got a two-thirds majority. In Tuesday’s debate, Jobbik MEP Zoltán Balczó already indicated that he was going to abstain from the vote and explained why. The MEP answered Alfahir’s questions after the vote on Wednesday.

In Tuesday’s debate, Zoltán Balczó said that the Sargentini report was throwing accusations around concerning the Hungarian border fence that halted the illegal migration and expected Hungary to accept the migrant allocation quota, which would have meant the implementation of an already failed decision. The Hungarian MEP also rejected the allegations about racism and anti-Semitism manifested in the form of violent acts committed in Hungary. On the other hand, he also noted that the report contained serious statements on the increasing corruption, the curbing of the rule of law and the unprecedented pro-government media bias. “These criticisms are valid, they are based on facts, so you can ask the question: how free is Hungary today?” Jobbik’s MEP asked in the debate on Tuesday.

Mr Balczó announced that he would abstain from the vote and he also rejected the idea of triggering the Article 7 procedures, “the sanctions of which would eventually hit an entire country rather than a government.”

Is Orbán deliberately seeking confrontation in the European parliament?

“Discussing the matter with Jobbik’s leadership, I abstained from the vote on the Sargentini report, in line with the party’s communiqué released on Tuesday,” MEP Balczó confirmed to Alfahir. “I believe the decision was right and not just politically: it was a moral issue as well,” he added. Jobbik’s MEP says if he had disapproved of the report altogether, he would have had to reject its significant sections which clearly describe and factually document how the Orbán regime was developed, how voters were manipulated and how the unprecedented pro-government media bias was created. The report also reflected on the increasing corruption in Hungary as well as how the supposedly independent state organizations were used to destroy the government’s political opponents. Mr Balczó emphasized there was a good reason why Jobbik president Tamás Sneider identified the restoration of Hungary’s freedom as a top priority for his party. On the other hand, the MEP also told us that the report was unfounded in several instances, even containing some condemnable statements, which he addressed in his speech focusing on two significant areas.

“So I could not approve of the report, and neither could I support the idea of triggering the Article 7 procedure,” Mr Balczó explained. He added that the complicated procedure, even if it was triggered, required the European Council to make a final unanimous decision on Hungary’s condemnation and sanctions, which the Hungary-Poland alliance could prevent. He also revealed what several people had told him in the European Parliament: it was unclear what Viktor Orbán wanted to achieve with his speech on Tuesday. In Mr Balczó’s view, it was self-evident that many MEPs of the European People’s Party (EPP) were going to make their final decision based on Viktor Orbán’s speech in the EP. “However, the PM delivered his most confrontative speech ever, which could be interpreted as a test of loyalty, turning several members of his own political family against himself,” the Jobbik MEP asserted. In Mr Balczó’s opinion, this justifies the question if Viktor Orbán wants to keep Fidesz in the EPP at all any longer. The MEP believes the Yes votes would not have had a majority if the PM had delivered a different style of speech.

Jobbik: Orbán’s policies sacrificed Hungary

After the vote on the Sargentini report, Jobbik issued a press release Wednesday afternoon, saying: “Instead of looking for scapegoats, lying and calling others traitors, Viktor Orbán and the other Fidesz politicians must exercise self-restraint, self-criticism and humbleness so that this unprecedented punishment could be corrected”. The opposition party says Viktor Orbán has lost and this can be stated as a fact after the vote in the European Parliament. “The weight of the decision is further increased by the fact that many MEPs from the European People’s Party, i.e., Fidesz’ own party family, and even some of Viktor Orbán’s close friends and allies supported the proposal. Fidesz has sacrificed Hungary for the sake of its own arrogant use of power, non-consensual policies and insatiable hunger for money,” says the party’s press release.


Alfahí -