The Hungarian Prime Minister’s right-hand man has said he does not want to remain in the European Union (EU) as it fails to protect European values.
Janos Lazar’s shock revelation on Thursday afternoon came as a growing number of EU members have joined a queue to back leaving the bloc after Britons voted to leave last week.
The Minister for the Prime Minister’s office, said: “I couldn’t vote wholeheartedly for Hungary to stay in the EU.
“Europe does not equal the EU. The EU is not able to protect the rights and values of Europe.”
He said it was his own opinion, and not the government’s.
Mr Lazar added: “Back at the time he voted for Hungary to join the EU, but he’s been very disappointed ever since.
“The Hungarian government is not planning on holding a referendum on leaving the EU.”
Hungary, which joined the EU in 2004, has become part of a core group of rebels, including Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, who threatened today to draw up their own plans for a less centralized EU.
Poland, which also joined in 2004, is leading the rebellion by nine former communist countries after accusing the old guard – Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands – of monopolizing EU discussions after holding private talks in Berlin over the weekend.
Last week’s referendum alarmed governments in the former communist eastern region of the EU who had seen London as their main eurosceptic ally in efforts to reduce centralized control from Brussels.
It is thought the UK’s exit from the EU will further isolate central and eastern European member states in the 28-member bloc.
Mr Lazar’s views came the day after Mr Orban made an angry speech in which he hit out at Brussels chiefs for losing sight of what the bloc stands for.
He said: “Those 27 countries who remain the part of the EU should practice self-criticism.
“If we want to restore the democratic nature of the EU, we should return to the thought that the base of the European Union is its countries and not its institutions. The European Union is not in Brussels, but in the 27, or – for the time being – in its 28 European capitals, that has got a co-operation center in Brussels.
“We should divide the question of the EU membership from the question of migration. It is possible to create European migration politics, in harmony with the Hungarian national interest.”
Mr Orban also said the EU’s failure to manage the migrant crisis was to blame for Britain voting to leave the EU and warned further referendums could follow.
He added: “The important question is what lessons to draw from what happened, for us Europeans who are still members of the European Union and want to stay in.
“If the EU cannot solve the migration situation then such challenges as we saw in the case of the United Kingdom will increase.”
Mr Orban’s ruling Fidesz party will be holding a referendum in September or October on whether Hungary should reject any future mandatory quotas from Brussels to resettle migrants arriving en masse from countries such as Syria.
Hungary, which built a fence on its southern border to keep out migrants, has repeatedly accused the EU of weakness in the face of the crisis, calling for tough policies like fortified borders and strict immigration procedures.