Hungarian and Polish PMs to meet Italy's League leader to discuss new alliance

FILE PHOTO: Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrive ahead of a meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels, Belgium September 24, 2020 REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/Pool

BUDAPEST (Reuters) -The prime ministers of Hungary and Poland will meet the leader of Italy's rightist League party on Thursday for talks on forming a European political alliance, Hungarian state news agency MTI said on Tuesday.

The talks between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Italy's League leader Matteo Salvini and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will take place in Budapest, it said.

They will discuss creating an alliance involving the League, Orban's governing Fidesz party and Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, MTI quoted Orban's press chief as saying.

Fidesz quit the main pan-European centre-right bloc, the European People's Party, earlier this month, two years after it was suspended for policies criticised by mainstream conservatives as authoritarian.

Orban's nationalist policies have long been widely seen as a better fit with smaller European blocs to the right of the EPP - such as the eurosceptic European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group that includes Poland's PiS, or the right-wing Identity and Democracy (ID) group that includes France's National Rally and Italy's League.

Orban has said he has held talks with like-minded parties about creating a new political alliance, and that Fidesz has been in talks with conservative political forces as it seeks a new group in the European Parliament.

He says the goal is for there to be a political home for Fidesz and similar forces in Europe that do not want to host migrants and want to "protect" traditional families.

Orban faces elections in 2022, with the opposition united against him for the first time.

(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Alison Williams and Timothy Heritage)

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