PM Orban demands resignation of EU Commission's vice president over criticism of Hungary

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban Tuesday called for the resignation of the EU Commission's vice president over her criticism of Hungary and said his government would be suspending political contacts with her. "The statements of Vice President Vera Jourova are incompatible with her current mandate, therefore her resignation is indispensable," Orban wrote in a letter addressed to commission chief Ursula von der Leyen.

Orban was reacting to Jourova's description of Hungary in an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel last week.

"Mr Orban likes to say he is building an illiberal democracy," Jourova told Der Spiegel, "I would say: He is building an ill democracy."

Orban's latest broadside against Brussels comes just two days ahead of a summit of EU leaders.

Orban said Jourova's remarks were "in contradiction with the Commission's role as a neutral and objective institution," according to the Lisbon Treaty, as well as a "blatant violation of the principle of sincere cooperation" that "prevent any meaningful future dialogue," between Hungary and Jourova.

Until Jourova's resignation, "the Hungarian Government suspends all bilateral political contacts with her," Orban said in the letter.

In the coming days a crucial rule of law report is expected from the Commission.

A so-called "Article 7" procedure probing whether Hungary is undermining European legal standards and democratic values is also ongoing.

This story was produced by AFP. 

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