Hungary PM Orban defends his candidate for EU executive

FILE PHOTO: Hungarian Justice Minister Laszlo Trocsanyi speaks to reporters on the sidelines of a conference on legislative issues in Budapest, Hungary, September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Krisztina Than/File Photo

Prime Minister Viktor Orban had several solutions “in his pocket” after Hungary’s candidate for the European Commission was rejected, he told state radio.

The EU transport commissioner-designate, Romanian socialist politician Rovana Plumb, and the proposed commissioner for EU enlargement, former Hungarian justice minister Laszlo Trocsanyi, were told their confirmation hearings could not go ahead because of inconsistencies in their financial statements, officials said on Thursday.

“I am convinced that he (Trocsanyi) is the most suitable candidate for becoming member of the European Commission,” Orban said.

“His sin was that he helped the government and me…to protect Hungary from migration.”

The move is an embarrassment for Orban, who proposed Trocsanyi, and who has been in constant conflict with Brussels over his migration and other policies.

Orban said he had talked to new Commission president-designate Ursula van der Leyen about Trocsanyi and would wait for a written explanation from Brussels before a follow-up discussion on how to proceed.