TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Thirteen conservative parties have demanded Fidesz be expelled from the European People's Party over an anti-immigration and anti-EU campaign that attacked European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, a fellow EPP member, and U.S. philanthropist George Soros.
The EPP, made up of the main center-right parties in most European countries, is the biggest group in the European parliament, expected to keep that status in European elections in May giving it a big say in naming Juncker's successor.
According to a copy of one letter seen by Reuters on Thursday, Orban asked the leader of the Flemish Christian Democrats, Wouter Beke, to reconsider his call to eject Fidesz.
A Hungarian government spokesman said similar letters were sent to leaders of the other 12 parties who have made similar calls.
"It is no secret that there are serious disagreements... on the issue of migration, the protection of Christian culture and the future of Europe," Orban wrote. "It is also no secret that we do not wish to change our position on these issues."
"Yet I do not consider it reasonable to solve such disagreements by expelling a party from our political family. I would therefore respectfully like to ask you to reconsider your proposal for expulsion, if possible."
Orban apologized for referring to critics as "useful idiots", a phrase he said he had borrowed from Lenin and intended to use to refer to policies not individual politicians.