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HN: Orban and Kaczynski may surprisingly save EU´s unity

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Prague, Jan 12 (CTK) – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of the Polish ruling party, whom western media label as Eurosceptics, may surprisingly save the European Union´s unity, Martin Ehl writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) yesterday.
He writes that the European “black sheep” Orban and Kaczynski, chairman of the Law and Justice (PiS) party, had last week a six-hour private conversation, of which not much is known.
Judging by what Orban said in his regular Friday radio appearance, they understood one another though Kaczynski previously refused to meet Orban over his pro-Russian policy, Ehl writes.
However, the visit by British Prime Minister David Cameron to Budapest one day after Kaczynski and Orban’s meeting has changed the situation.
It would be advantageous for neither Poland nor Hungary if Britain left the EU, which would trigger the gradual disintegration of the EU, Ehl writes.
He writes that both countries made it clear to Cameron that they agree with his proposed reforms of the EU, with the exception of welfare benefits for foreign employees.
A Union of strong national states with an influx of European means to the national budgets and an operable common market are just what both the Polish and Hungarian conservatives need, Ehl writes.
Given the structure of the Polish and Hungarian economies, the functioning of the European labour market and cooperation with western firms that offer the much needed jobs, are entirely irreplaceable, Ehl writes.
He writes that Orban´s position in Europe is much better than Kaczynski´s whose country is, however, the sixth largest EU member.
Orban´s Fidesz is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) that shielded him when he was criticised after taking over power in 2010 and Chancellor Angela Merkel takes Hungary under her wing because the country is an import workshop of the German car making industry, Ehl writes.
He writes that the new Polish government, for its part, has closer ties to the British Conservatives, with whom it is a member of the third strongest group in the European Parliament.
Though Kaczynski does not show any interest in European politics, there are enough people among his party´s rank-and-file and experts who take Euro-realistic stances, Ehl writes.
He writes that no one in Poland challenges the fact that European money and pro-European stances are behind the Polish economic growth and Poland’s role in international politics.
Ehl writes that both Orban and Kaczynski have certain problems with their relations to the key country of the European Union, Germany. Orban´s relation is tense, but clearly defined, while Kaczynski and his people, including Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, are not much able to work with Germany.
The Polish conservatives’ relation to Britain as a sort of Euro-realistic bridge to Europe could be important. Another relation that Warsaw was previously carefully building – to France – will not be operable as long as the country has a socialist president, Ehl writes.
The disintegration or a quick collapse of the European Union is in the interest of neither Kaczynski nor Orban. Labelling them as Eurosceptics is rather misleading in view of the growing scepticism in the EU in consequence of the influx of migrants, Ehl writes.
He writes that Kaczynski and Orban are rather Euro-realists who view the possibility of Britain´s departure from the EU as a slightly smaller bogey than the determined Europhiles, Ehl writes.
He writes that a Europe of strong national states, which both Orban and Kaczynski advocate, is actually precisely to what the European Union is heading under the influence of the Brexit threat and the financial and migrant crises.

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