Investors, EU Get Bashing as Leaders of Poland and Hungary Meet

  • Hungarian Prime Minister Orban praises economic nationalism
  • Polish ruling party boss calls for ‘deep changes’ after Brexit

The leaders of Poland and Hungary praised each others’ economic nationalism and Euroscepticism while calling for “revolutionary” changes in the European Union.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who won the Person of the Year award at Poland’s biggest annual economic conference at Krynica, said late Tuesday that the two formerly communist nations were “heading down the right path” by questioning the role of Brussels following the U.K.’s vote to leave the bloc and pursuing a patriotic economic agenda in the age of global capital flows.

“Economic patriotism is a valid topic to discuss. People say that money doesn’t smell, but the owner of the money does,” Orban told a gathering in Krynica, seated on stage along with Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland’s ruling party and the power behind the government.

The meeting comes less than two weeks before an EU summit where the bloc’s 27 leaders -- excluding the U.K. -- will discuss the way forward following the Brexit referendum. Both Poland and Hungary, two net beneficiaries of the EU’s budget, support calls for looser oversight from Brussels and seek to shore up the bloc’s external borders to keep out migrants seeking refuge from conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa.

Kaczynski, praising Orban for showing Poland how to pursue national interests in the EU, said Europe was suffering from a leadership crisis amid Brexit, the influx of immigrants as well as almost a decade of economic malaise.

“Is Germany ready to undertake a financial effort similar to one it took after reunification” to revamp the EU economy, asked Kaczynski. “All this means Europe needs deep changes, I’d say it needs a revolution.”

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