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Hungary’s PM forms alliance with Czech, Austrian right wings – World

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Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban (right), Herbert Kickl, the leader of Austria’s Freedom Party (middle), and Andrej Babis, leader of the Czech Republic’s ANO party, shake hands in Vienna, Austria, on Sunday after announcing the formation of a new EU parliamentary alliance. TOBIAS STEINMAURER / APA / AFP / AUSTRIA OUT

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party have announced they are joining forces with right-wing allies from Austria and the Czech Republic, to form a political alliance called “Patriots for Europe”.

In a news conference on Sunday in Vienna, alongside the leaders of Austria’s Freedom Party, or FPO, and the Czech Action of Dissatisfied Citizens, or ANO, Orban stated the aim of the new group was to become the dominant right-wing group in European politics, focusing on migration, green policies, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“Historians will decide in a few years’ time how important this day was — we think this is the day when European policy begins to change,” Orban said. “The Brussels elite is resisting. They do not accept the decision of the European (voters). They don’t want change, they want to hold on to the status quo. That is unacceptable. That is why this current joint group and platform is being created.”

The three parties secured top positions in their countries in the recent European elections, gaining a number of seats in the European Parliament, benefiting from the rise in right-wing support across Europe.

The Euractiv news website reported that the alliance seeks to establish a new political group in the Parliament this week.

The three founding parties of the alliance already have more than the required 23 members of the European legislature to form an official parliamentary group.

They must now convince parties from four more European countries to join, to fulfill the condition of having MEPs from seven different member states.

FPO leader Herbert Kickl described the announcement as the beginning of a “new era in European politics”, expressing confidence that the “patriotic “alliance would soon be joined by other parties.

In a social media post, ANO leader and former Czech prime minister Andrej Babis said: “We will prefer national sovereignty to federalism, liberty to orders, and peace to war.”

The Politico news website reported the group plans to unveil a “patriotic manifesto”, addressing European migration challenges and standing in opposition to the European Green Deal, the flagship environmental policy package of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The development coincides with Hungary assuming the presidency of the Council of the European Union on Monday.

Orban’s right-wing Fidesz party has held a supermajority in Hungary since 2010, but has been increasingly isolated since its departure from the center-right European People’s Party group in the European Parliament in 2021, following a threat of expulsion.

A strident Brussels critic, Orban insisted that the new political alliance would “quickly” dominate the European political right, stating that “this will happen within days, and after that, the sky is the limit”.

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