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Dutch MEP Sophie In ‘T Veld, from the Renew Party, has called on Hungarian leader Viktor Orban to “really, really consider whether he wants to be a member of the EU”. The shock demand from a leading voice in Brussels comes amid growing tensions between Hungary and the leadership in Brussels. Hungary stunned the rest of the bloc on Monday after issuing an immediate ban on almost all foreigners from entering the country.
Following this, Hungary has even threatened to block the enormous £666billion EU coronavirus rescue package.
Speaking to Euronews, Ms Veld said that the moves from Hungary were intended to “provoke the EU”.
The Dutch MEP said Hungary had to obey orders from Brussels or leave the bloc.
She said: “I don’t know what the justification is for this border closure.”
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She said: “It is in stark contrast to the fact that Mr Orban met up with the Slovenian PM and they stood very close, and there were no face masks.
“Maybe the border closure is another provocation to the EU.
“I think Mr Orban should really, really consider whether he wants to be a member of the EU.
“If you’re a member of the team, you play by the rules.”
Euronews’ Brussels correspondent Meabh McMahon added: “The whole European dream is at stake.
“The fact that you can travel without your passport throughout Europe, that is now at stake.”
A furious EU Commission also hit out at Hungary, saying that there can be no discrimination between EU citizens when it comes to travel restrictions.
Germany, which is holding the presidency of the EU, has insisted that the bloc needs a framework for coronavirus measures in order to preserve the integrity of the bloc’s Schengen Zone.
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Mr Orban has long been a staunch critic of the EU and highlighted Europe’s weakness at the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the latest row, Hungary has threatened to not ratify the European Union’s 750 billion-euro coronavirus fund until it gets reassurances that it won’t risk punishment from Brussels.
Hungary has once again warned it could pull its support from the recovery fund if it is linked to rule of law proceedings in the state.
Under Article 7 of the Treaty of Europe, the bloc can remove a member state or block funds if it violates the values of the EU.
The EU requires national parliaments to agree to the huge financial package in order to provide needed funds to states recovering from the pandemic crisis.
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