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Viktor Orbán: ‘It is not easy to be a Christian in Europe’

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, during talks with his Georgian counterpart Irakli Garibashvili in Tbilisi on Thursday, spoke about the difficulties faced by Christians in Europe, POLITICO reports.

The prime ministers visited the monastery with their spouses and praised each other for their commitment to Christian values.

“It is not easy to be a Christian in Europe, to govern a Christian government in Europe,” Orbán said as he shared his concerns that Christian traditions are “doomed to fail” unless they can be protected.

Orban expressed disappointment with the EU’s decision not to grant Georgia candidate status, arguing in favour of Georgia’s European aspirations “while it was granted to countries that are far inferior to Georgia in terms of development”.

Last year, three countries applied to join the EU, with Ukraine and Moldova receiving candidate status and Georgia, which the Commission said should receive “the prospect of becoming a member of the European Union” but has not yet been granted candidate status. The Hungarian PM said:

If it is a merit-based process, what happened was very unfair toward your country, and it must be corrected as soon as possible.

Unification with Hungary may not be good for Georgia’s European ambitions. Hungary itself has been repeatedly criticised in the EU for its poor rule of law and human rights record.

As for Georgia, the EU set 12 criteria for Georgia to become a candidate, including protection of human rights and reform of the judiciary. The country’s government has since disagreed with the EU guidance, arguing that it has already done more than enough.  However, according to the EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, “more efforts are needed” and since the European Commission will review Georgia’s progress again in October, the Georgian authorities need to “seize the opportunity”.

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