Commenting on Germany’s proposal to end unanimous votes on EU policies, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told a government press briefing that the bloc’s founding treaty was clear on the areas that required unanimous votes and ones that did not.
Changing the voting rules would require an amendment to the founding treaty, which requires unanimous support, he said. “We’ll tell them right now to not even bother getting started on it,” he said. Member states should take powers back from Brussels instead of giving up more in order for the bloc to function well, he added.
Meanwhile, asked about Pope Francis’s upcoming visit to Hungary, Orbán said it was important to remember that the pontiff was both a head of state and the head of a church, for which he deserved respect and an attitude of humility. Given that Pope Francis will be delivering mass at a global event, it will be up to him to decide whom he meets with, Orbán said. The prime minister added that it would be an honour if the pontiff met with him, adding that the government was ready to welcome the pope humbly.
On the domestic political front, Orbán commented on reports about government members who holidayed on yachts, saying it was not the government’s businesses what kind of boat they could afford. Hungary has introduced rules against conflict of interest and these must be observed by everyone, he added. Asked about whether his son-in-law István Tiborcz should be treated as a public figure, he said it was not his job to take a position on the matter and the court would do so. In response to a question concerning Lőrinc Mészáros, a businessman with close ties to Orbán who tops the list of the 100 richest Hungarians, he said the government had two expectations of people with an abundance of money: to abide by all regulations and pay all the taxes they owe. He said 80% of the top 100 richest Hungarians were left-wingers, adding that on the right wing, business and politics were generally not mixed together. Asked what he would think if he was in opposition and the family of the next prime minister would make billions from European Union and state resources within a few years, he said: “I would advise him to pay all his taxes and stick to the regulations.”