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Viktor Orbán criticizes EUs coronavirus crisis response

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The coronavirus crisis has exposed the EUs “weaknesses” and failure to help in times of need, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said today.

Speaking on Hungarian state radio, the prime minister said that “help does not really come from here.”

“Help we got from the Chinese, and I turned to the members of the Turkic Council, where Hungary is also a member, that they give help, and we got it also from there,” Orbán said, while adding that “we remain members of the European Union, we belong to this western alliance.”

Hungary is among the countries that has been buying protective gear and medical equipment from China over the past weeks, with Orbán going to Budapest airport earlier this week to personally welcome a shipment of more than 3 million masks, 100,000 coronavirus tests and 86 ventilators.

Earlier this month, a shipment of protective equipment headed for Hungary was temporarily delayed in Hamburg due to a German export ban.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen herself on Thursday criticized countries that had initially prioritized their own citizens rather than helping other countries in need. “When Europe really needed to prove that this is not only a fair weather union, too many refused to share their umbrella,” she told the European Parliament.

Earlier in the crisis, the Commission threatened to slap Germany with an infringement proceeding — an official reprimand for defying EU law — before Berlin ultimately dropped its ban.

In recent days, countries have been donating medical kits to Italy, the worst affected of the EU27 and some nations are treating patients they have taken in from neighbors.

The Commission has been trying to push back against the narrative that EU countries do not help one another while non-members like China, Russia and Cuba lend a helping hand.

“In the face of adversity, the people of Europe are showing how strong we can be together,” the Commission tweeted on Thursday. “This is the example that the EU must follow. EU countries are starting to help each oRead More – Source

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