BUDAPEST - EU officials are wasting time on toys for pigs and the mood of geese when hundreds of thousands are losing their jobs and the single currency is collapsing, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Saturday in a scathing attack on EU institutions.
Orban, who has often been at loggerheads with Brussels over issues like the independence of the National Bank of Hungary and the judiciary, said the 27-member bloc's institutions were hindering crisis-hit nations' ability to solve their problems.
Speaking in the Romanian town of Baile Tusnad at an annual students' gathering, Orban said western Europe, where the 17-member euro zone is mired in a debt crisis, was trapped in a vicious circle by the lack of accountability and failing institutions.
"Brussels spends precious days and weeks setting the size of hen cages. They prescribe that pigs should be given toys to play with, and the mood of geese is an important European issue," Orban said in a nearly hour-long speech carried by Hungarian private broadcaster HirTV.
"Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands are losing their jobs, our currency is collapsing and every day we find it harder and harder to make ends meet," he said, calling for an overhaul of the European institutional framework.