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EU would be worse off without Poland, Hungary: Orban

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 22.09.2017 14:38
The European Union would be worse off without Poland and Hungary, the Hungarian prime minister has said, praising Poland's economic results after meeting his Polish counterpart in Warsaw on Friday.
Viktor Orban and Beata Szydło. Photo: PAP/Jacek TurczykViktor Orban and Beata Szydło. Photo: PAP/Jacek Turczyk

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Poland was one of the European Union's most successful countries.

“If we look at Poland's economic, cultural, scientific achievements, we can say Poland is the machine driving the union,” Orban said, adding that Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were “chasing” Poland.

'Political inquisition'

Orban called Brussels' treatment of Warsaw “a political inquisition” and said the European Union was not treating Poland with the respect it deserved.

He added that Hungary would defend any country that was being disrespected by the European Union.

Orban said the bloc was split by whether countries had chosen to accept migrants or not.

But Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło said Poland and Hungary's decision not to relocate migrants had proven to be right.

“The path our governments chose on the matter of illegal immigration turned out to be right,” Szydło said, adding that national security trumped threats made in Europe's top courts.

Brussels has launched a case against Hungary and Poland for reneging on a 2015 decision to relocate migrants.

Brussels has also not ruled out triggering article seven, which could lead to sanctions.

In September 2015, EU leaders agreed that each country would accept a number of migrants over two years to alleviate the pressure on Greece and Italy, which have seen the arrival of tens of thousands of people from the Middle East.

EU leaders agreed to relocate a total of about 160,000 migrants of more than two million people who arrived in Europe since 2015, but European Union countries have accepted only 25,000 people so far.

Poland, which saw Szydło's government come to power shortly after the European Union decision was made, has refused to take in any of the migrants.

Joint stance

Szydło said Poland and Hungary shared a joint stance on the European Union's planned changes to rules for workers which would see European Union nationals paid at the rate of the country they are in.

Poland and Hungary want the transport sector excluded from the proposed reform so that it would not make their hauliers less competitive abroad.

Poland and Hungary also agree on security, economic and common market issues, Szydło said.

Szydło and Orban discussed plans for the Visegrad Group, which aims to boost ties between Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, according to the Polish prime minister.

Szydło added that Hungary's presidency of the Visegrad Group was “good and intense”. (vb/pk)

Source: IAR, PAP

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