Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday mocked the European Parliament after allegations surfaced that one of its vice presidents had accepted cash bribes from Qatar to burnish its image.
“Good morning to the European Parliament,” Orban wrote on Twitter alongside a 1981 photo of former US presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush in a group of people laughing.
The text over the photo, which is commonly used as a meme, says, “And then they said the EP is seriously concerned about corruption in Hungary.”
Orban’s barb comes after the EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, recommended freezing 13 billion euros ($13.7 billion) in EU funds earmarked for Hungary, because of concerns over corruption and risks to the rule of law.
The commission said Hungary had failed to introduce adequate anti-corruption reforms.
The European Parliament also voted not to release the monies.
But on Friday, the EU’s lawmaking body itself became embroiled in a scandal over alleged corruption.
EU foreign ministers warned on Monday that the scandal threatened to undermine the credibility of European institutions.
On Saturday, Hungarian MEP Balazs Hidveghi accused left-wing members of the European Parliament of “fabricating lies about corruption in Hungary for years”.
“Now their leading politician… is involved in the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the EU,” Hidveghi wrote on Twitter.
“Hypocrisy at its best,” the member of Orban’s ruling Fidesz party said.