Headwind for Orban's emergency law
Viktor Orban (l), Prime Minister of Hungary, speaks to Lajos Kosa, MP of the ruling party Fidesz. Photo: Zoltan Math / MTI / TEH (Image: TEH) (Photo: Zoltan Math / MTI / TEH)

Berlin / Brussels / Budapest – The special powers for the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in the Corona crisis have met with strong international criticism.

Minister of State Michael Roth (SPD) brought financial sanctions into play. “It cannot be explained to our population that states finance a large part of their public investments with EU money and then violate the principles of the EU,” he said in an interview with the world. Financial sanctions against Hungary should be examined.

The right-wing national Orban had been granted extensive special powers by the parliament in Budapest on Monday. You could enable him to govern indefinitely by ordinance. No elections and referenda are allowed during the emergency. The spread of false news should be severely punished so that journalists fear critical reporting.

Roth campaigned in the current negotiations on the EU budget from 2021 to create the possibility to impose sanctions by a qualified majority if countries violate EU principles. At the same time, he spoke in favor of a rule of law mechanism initiated by the federal government, in which all EU members are to be checked in the future, not just those where there are alleged violations.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen already expressed her concern about the Hungarian Emergency Law on Thursday. The Commission will examine it, the German politician emphasized. EU budget commissioner Johannes Hahn told the news magazine “Der Spiegel”: “If the Commission’s evaluation shows that Orban’s actions contradict our basic principles, we will take the necessary consequences.” When it comes to compliance with the EU treaties, there can be “no discount”.

Orban dismissed the criticism of his powers as the work of a “Brussels bubble”. «What is Brussels doing? With us, »he said on Friday on the state radio. «You could save lives with cooperation. That would be necessary now. I don’t know what kind of people are in the “Brussels bubble”, »he added.

Meanwhile, Hungary joined a statement in which Germany and 16 other EU countries were concerned about excessive emergency measures in the face of the corona pandemic. Hungary was not mentioned directly in the declaration, but it was meant openly. Late Thursday evening, the Budapest Ministry of Justice published an entry on the government website entitled “Hungary joins the EU member states’ statement below”. Below was the declaration of the EU countries in Hungarian translation.

© The Eastern Herald


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