A video has gone viral that shows an angry EU lawmaker taking Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to task for his controversial views on immigration, capital punishment, and Russia.
The video shows MEP Guy Verhofstadt, the former prime minister of Belgium, growing visibly heated as he accuses Orban of pursuing policies that seek to deliberately sabotage European values.
"What he's coming to do here is simply to continue the provocations that we've heard the last months," said Verhofstadt, following up an address by Orban before the European Parliament in Strasbourg on May 19.
Among other things, Orban had insisted that Budapest had the right to determine its own immigration policy, calling an EU plan to establish a binding quota for all 28 member states "absurd" and "bordering on insanity."
He also defended his proposal to consider reintroducing the death penalty in Hungary, where it was banned shortly after the fall of communism in 1990.
As Orban listened placidly through headphones to a translation, Verhofstadt attacked the Hungarian leader for asserting his right to reinstate capital punishment, which is banned in the EU.
"What you want to do is that every member state can decide himself on the reintroduction of the death penalty, that it is not a European issue," Verhoftstadt said, gesturing angrily at Orban. "Well, it is a European issue! It's an issue of the whole European Union and the whole European civilization."
Verhofstadt also bristled at Orban's claim that "mismanagement" of the immigrant question by Brussels had led to "increased terrorism."
"If you attack migrants, think a little bit to the many Hungarian refugees who left their country because of the communists in 1956 and how they were received with open arms by the other people of Europe," the Belgian ex-premier said, drawing applause from fellow lawmakers.
Hungary's gas and nuclear-energy deals with Russia -- "made in the middle of the crisis with Ukraine" -- also came under criticism, as did Orban's pledge to build an "illiberal democracy" at home.
Orban, now in his third term as prime minister, has frequently rankled fellow European officials with his hard-line stance on human rights, civil society, and press freedom.
But if he thought his scolding by Verhofstadt was bad, worse was yet to come.
The president of the EU's executive commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, greeted Orban at the May 22 EU summit in Riga with the words, "Hello, dictator!"