EU Shock: Eurosceptic Orban says he got von der Leyen job to stop ‘ideological guerrillas’

Posted on Jul 29 2019 - 3:56pm by admin

Speaking at the Romanian town of Băile Tușnad on Saturday, Mr Orbán said Hungary is on a “reassuring path” both financially and socially, but this was under threat from “external dangers”. He said one of the main dangers “would have been the selection of inappropriate people for the positions of leadership on Europe” but he claims to have prevented this from happening. Although never mentioning them by name, the Hungarian prime minister suggested Manfred Weber and Frans Timmermans were the “ideological guerrillas” stopped from securing top EU posts.

Mr Orbán’s spokesman live-tweeted the speech, and wrote: “We prevented the ideological gorillas [later corrected to ‘guerrillas’] from taking up important positions.”

But the Hungarian prime minister seemed pleased with the appointment of Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s former defence minister as the best President of the European Commission.

He said: “And to the head of the Commission, we elected a mother of seven children.”

Leaders of the EU finally agreed on who would secure the top jobs at the beginning of July, after months of disagreements.

Von der Leyen will succeed Jean-Claude Junker as the first female head of the European Commission, with Frenchwoman Christine Lagarde appointed as European Central Bank chief.

Belgium’s caretaker prime minister Charles Michel will replace Donald Tusk as the next chairman of EU leaders’ summits and will be tasked with negotiating between the 28 member states.

Spain’s Josep Borrell will become the next EU High Representative.

The new EU chiefs will formally take their new positions in November.

READ MORE: What the EU 27 REALLY think about Boris Johnson and the Brexit backstop

Boris Johnson is currently preparing for a “Cold War” style stand-off with EU chiefs, over Britain’s Brexit position.

The new Tory Prime Minister has demanded Brussels scrap the Northern Irish backstop, but the tough talk has rattled the current EU leaders.

Michel Barnier has said Mr Johnson’s demands were “unacceptable” and the backstop has to stay.

President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, also told him the deal is the best one possible and slapped down his demands to rip up the agreement.

One European ambassador told The Times: “There is no shortage of acrimony.

“I don’t think there will be any circumstances under which there will be anything other than a Brexit Cold War.”

But Mr Johnson is still determined to strike a new deal with Brussels, to correct the flaws in Theresa May’s current Withdrawal Agreement.

If changes are not made, the Tory Prime Minister has threatened a “do or die” Brexit stance, stating Britain will leave the UK “with or without a deal”.

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