The Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban has said he does 'not want a European Union led by France', adding that May 2019 elections to the European Parliament would be "decisive".

Hungary's hard-line prime minister, Viktor Orban, said: "We have never been faced with such a decisive election".

Orban told the German Bild newspaper:  "The Germans should above all be vigilant. There is a French concept, which fundamentally means: French leadership of Europe, paid for by German money".

He added:  "This is something I reject. We do not want a European Union under French leadership." 

Viktor Orban said that European parliament elections next year could bring about a tectonic shift to illiberal "Christian democracy" in the European Union, ending the era of multiculturalism.

Along with Poland's nationalist government, he has been in constant conflict with the European Commission, the EU's executive, over what Brussels calls an erosion of democratic institutions in formerly communist east European countries.