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Orban Proclaims Defiance Ahead of European Parliament Sanctions Vote

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban gestures as he delivers a speech during a debate concerning Hungary's situation as part of a plenary session at the European Parliament on September 11, 2018 in Strasbourg, eastern France. - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban vowed, on September 11, 2018, to defy EU pressure …
FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán slammed critics and stood firm against potential sanctions from the European Union, accusing the bloc of “violating the honour of the Hungarian people”.

The Hungarian leader spoke in front of the European Parliament Tuesday following a highly critical report from Dutch Green Party MEP Judith Sargentini which accused the Hungarian government of corruption, abuse of migrants, restrictions of freedom of the press, and other issues including “patriarchal attitudes” toward women, Euronews reports.

In his speech, Prime Minister Orbán argued that the report overstepped its bounds and may have even violated the founding principles of the European Union accusing the EU of an “abuse of power”.

Mr Orbán also stated the EU did not respect the will of the Hungarian people, saying: “What you are saying is nothing less than that the Hungarian people cannot be trusted to decide what is in their best interests. What you believe is that you know better what the Hungarian people want.”

“I reject that the European Parliament’s forces supporting immigration and migrants threaten, blackmail and with untrue accusations defame Hungary and the Hungarian people,” he said and added: “Whatever decision you make, Hungary will not give in to extortion, Hungary will defend its borders, will stop illegal migration and will protect its rights, if needed, from you, too.”

The speech comes a day before the European Parliament is set to vote on whether or not to invoke Article 7 against Hungary which could see the country under sanctions from the political bloc.

Several politicians and parties have said they will stand with Orbán, including Italian populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, French Rassemblement National (National Rally) MEP Nicolas Bay, and the Hungarian leader has even received support from the UK Conservative Party.

Several members of the European People’s Party, the EU parliament group of which Mr Orbán’s Fidesz is a member, have openly supported invoking Article 7 including Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz who said in a TV interview Monday: “There are no compromises on the rule of law. The core values need to be protected.”

Kurz’s coalition partner Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), took the opposite stance and invited Orbán to form a new EU parliament group alongside the FPÖ. Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage also invited Orbán to “join the Brexit club” and praised Orbán’s campaign against left-wing billionaire George Soros.

Speaking in the chamber Tuesday, Farage told Orban: “You’re here on a show trial where a bunch of political non-entities get up and point the finger and scream, enjoying themselves with their afternoon hate. And the chief prosecutor, the Commissar that comes from the unelected Government, he has the audacity to lecture you on democracy.”

“What is really happening here Mr Orban is that they’re just updating the Brezhnev Doctrine of limited sovereignty. There’s no point pretending in this union you’re independent, there’s no point pretending you run your own country and Article 7 is the new method of adopting that.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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