Skip to Content Facebook Feature Image

For Trump it's MAGA, but Hungary's Orbán is going MEGA at the European Union's helm for six months

ENT

For Trump it's MAGA, but Hungary's Orbán is going MEGA at the European Union's helm for six months
ENT

ENT

For Trump it's MAGA, but Hungary's Orbán is going MEGA at the European Union's helm for six months

2024-06-18 22:18 Last Updated At:22:30

BRUSSELS (AP) — Hungary’s populist government announced on Tuesday that its upcoming presidency of the European Union will be held under the motto “Make Europe Great Again,” but played down any parallels with Donald Trump’s MAGA movement in the United States.

“This is a reference to an active presidency,” Hungary’s EU Affairs Minister János Bóka said as he outlined Budapest’s program and ambitions for its six months at the helm of the world’s biggest trading bloc, starting on July 1.

“It actually shows manifest the expectation that together we should be stronger than individually, but that we should be allowed to remain who we are when we come together,” he told reporters.

Asked about the similarities to the former U.S. president’s Make America Great Again slogan, Bóka insisted it was focused on Europe, saying: “I don’t know if Donald Trump ever wanted to make Europe great again.”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who leads a staunchly nationalist government, is an ally of Trump and is considered to be closest to Russian President Vladimir Putin among the EU’s 27 leaders. He has tried to portray himself as a peacemaker on the war in Ukraine.

In February, Orbán said: “We can’t get involved in another country’s elections, but we would really like President Donald Trump to return to the presidency and make peace here in the eastern half of Europe.” It was a reference to the U.S. election in November.

Even then, Orbán was borrowing from Trump’s popular slogan to describe his plans for Hungary’s EU presidency. “Make Europe great again!” he said. “MAGA there, MEGA here.”

In recent years, Hungary has become an outlier in the EU and NATO. The European Commission froze billions of euros in funds to Budapest over concerns about democratic backsliding by the government.

Orbán has watered down EU sanctions against Russia and opted out of NATO plans to provide more support to Ukraine. Earlier this year, EU lawmakers even called for the presidency to be taken out of his government’s hands.

Hungary’s prime minister took to social media on Monday to complain about the way that EU leaders from mainstream parties appeared to be securing the bloc’s top jobs for themselves despite far-right gains in France and Germany in the EU parliament elections earlier this month.

“The will of the European people was ignored” Orbán posted on X. Centrist parties, which held onto their majorities in the parliament, “don’t care about the results of the European elections, and they don’t care about the will of the European people.”

The EU presidency rotates among its member countries. The post holds little real power but it does allow countries to put national priorities high on Europe’s agenda. Spain, for example, used its term last year to push for greater recognition of Catalan and other regional languages.

Bóka said Hungary’s presidency will focus on economic competitiveness and growth, boosting the defense industry, more efficient border controls, a “merit-based” EU enlargement policy and “farmer-oriented agricultural policy” among other issues.

“The Hungarian presidency does not promise a miracle. It promises the chance to progress in some areas, and that of change in others. Therefore, let us make Europe great again,” he said.

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right, speaks with Slovakia's President Peter Pellegrini during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. The 27 leaders of the European Union gather in Brussels on Monday evening to take stock of recent European election results and begin the fraught process of dividing up the bloc's top jobs, but they will be playing their usual political game with a deck of reshuffled cards. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right, speaks with Slovakia's President Peter Pellegrini during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. The 27 leaders of the European Union gather in Brussels on Monday evening to take stock of recent European election results and begin the fraught process of dividing up the bloc's top jobs, but they will be playing their usual political game with a deck of reshuffled cards. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hold a press conference following their meeting in the government headquarters in Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (Zoltan Mathe/MTI via AP)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hold a press conference following their meeting in the government headquarters in Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (Zoltan Mathe/MTI via AP)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left, is greeted by Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. The 27 leaders of the European Union gather in Brussels on Monday evening to take stock of recent European election results and begin the fraught process of dividing up the bloc's top jobs, but they will be playing their usual political game with a deck of reshuffled cards. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left, is greeted by Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. The 27 leaders of the European Union gather in Brussels on Monday evening to take stock of recent European election results and begin the fraught process of dividing up the bloc's top jobs, but they will be playing their usual political game with a deck of reshuffled cards. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jo Adell drove in an early run and had two hits, and José Soriano pitched six resourceful innings in the Los Angeles Angels' 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.

Four Angels pitchers held Seattle scoreless for the final eight innings, with Carlos Estévez pitching the ninth for his 17th save. Los Angeles has limited the first-place Mariners to one earned run in the last 16 innings of this series, with the Angels winning both games.

“Pitching, defense, timely hitting,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “That's what it was. We played a solid ballgame.”

Soriano (5-7) gave up just one run despite allowing five hits and four walks and hitting two batters with wildly off-the-mark pitches. In his third start since returning from a back injury, he struck out five and ended Mariners rallies in three of the first five innings by retiring Luke Raley three times, stranding eight runners in the process.

“I was attacking the zone,” Soriano said through an interpreter. “I was commanding pitches. I had a little bit of turbulence, but I passed through it.”

Julio Rodríguez had an RBI single in the first inning for the Mariners, who have lost two straight after winning the first three games of their Southern California road trip.

George Kirby (7-7) yielded just three hits and one earned run over six innings for Seattle, striking out seven.

“They threw some really good pitching at us tonight,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “It came down to (the fact) we made an error in the middle of the field, which we typically don't do, and we just weren't able to overcome it. We had some chances against Soriano, but we needed to come up with a big hit, and we didn't do that tonight. Uncharacteristic play for us.”

Seattle led after three batters. J.P. Crawford drew an 11-pitch leadoff walk and scored on singles by Cal Raleigh and Rodríguez. Raley grounded into a double play with two on to end the first.

Los Angeles went ahead 2-1 in the second inning when Mickey Moniak singled, stole second and scored on a long single by Adell. Zach Neto then ran home when Raley's throw from right field rolled to the Angels' dugout. Raley was charged with a throwing error.

Raley also struck out with the bases loaded in the third, and grounded out with the bases loaded in the fifth.

Ben Joyce threw a 103.4-mph fastball during his 11th straight scoreless outing for the Angels. The reliever gave up a leadoff double in the seventh before striking out Crawford, Raleigh and Rodríguez on 12 combined pitches with his combination of heat, an improving slider and an 86-mph changeup.

“I feel like every time I've just been getting more comfortable, and you're seeing the results,” Joyce said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP Gabe Speier performed well in his bullpen session Friday, manager Scott Servais said. Seattle is hoping Speier can return after the All-Star break.

Angels: RHP Andrew Wantz had season-ending elbow surgery, the team announced Saturday. He made one major league appearance this season.

UP NEXT

Seattle's Logan Gilbert (6-5, 3.59 ERA) makes the start that will force him to miss his first All-Star Game. The Angels hadn't yet announced who will start a bullpen game.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB

Seattle Mariners' Julio Rodriguez, left, hits an RBI single as Los Angeles Angels catcher Logan O'Hoppe watches during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Seattle Mariners' Julio Rodriguez, left, hits an RBI single as Los Angeles Angels catcher Logan O'Hoppe watches during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Carlos Estevez celebrates after striking out Seattle Mariners' Victor Robles to end their baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. The Angels won 2-1. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Carlos Estevez celebrates after striking out Seattle Mariners' Victor Robles to end their baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. The Angels won 2-1. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels shortstop Zach Neto, right, can't handle a ball hit by Seattle Mariners' Mitch Garver as center fielder Mickey Moniak watches during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. Garver was safe at first on the play. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels shortstop Zach Neto, right, can't handle a ball hit by Seattle Mariners' Mitch Garver as center fielder Mickey Moniak watches during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. Garver was safe at first on the play. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Seattle Mariners' Victor Robles gets back back to first after J.P. Crawford lined out during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Seattle Mariners' Victor Robles gets back back to first after J.P. Crawford lined out during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Collin Snider, left, makes a catch on a ball hit by Los Angeles Angels' Nolan Schanuel as first baseman Ty France watches during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Collin Snider, left, makes a catch on a ball hit by Los Angeles Angels' Nolan Schanuel as first baseman Ty France watches during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Carlos Estevez throws to the plate during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Carlos Estevez throws to the plate during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels second baseman Keston Hiura, left, gets set to tag out Seattle Mariners' Josh Rojas as Rojas attempts to steal second during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels second baseman Keston Hiura, left, gets set to tag out Seattle Mariners' Josh Rojas as Rojas attempts to steal second during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher George Kirby throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher George Kirby throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels' Zach Neto, left, covers his head as he scores on a throwing error while Seattle Mariners designated hitter Mitch Garver, center, stands by during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels' Zach Neto, left, covers his head as he scores on a throwing error while Seattle Mariners designated hitter Mitch Garver, center, stands by during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels second baseman Keston Hiura, center, falls over Seattle Mariners' Josh Rojas aafter tagging him out as he tried to steal second during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels second baseman Keston Hiura, center, falls over Seattle Mariners' Josh Rojas aafter tagging him out as he tried to steal second during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jose Soriano throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jose Soriano throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Recommended Articles