March 5, 2019 / 5:31 PM / 8 months ago

EU's Juncker hits out at Hungary PM over party group membership

FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker attends a summit between Arab league and European Union member states, in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, February 25, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker accused Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban of coming “within a hair’s breadth” of peddling falsehoods, and said those who spread lies for domestic gain do not belong in the European People’s Party (EPP).

Juncker’s comments came after the leader of the main center-right party in the European parliament said on Tuesday that Orban must apologize for his criticism of the EU or his ruling Fidesz party could be suspended from the grouping.

Asked about Orban, Juncker told German broadcaster ZDF: “whoever lies in European affairs for domestic political reasons, has to ask himself whether he still wants to belong to the EPP club. I think, they are not one of them anymore.”

Reporting by Peter Maushagen; Writing by Paul Carrel; editing by John Stonestreet

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