2 ARTICLES & MORE SOURCES on Eu VS Hungary:
The European Union politely told to straighten out his act, as Viktos Orban has declared himself a dictator, in the new Constitution he rammed through, when he was at the head of the E.U. What an opportunistic corrupt man:
1. EU Begins Legal Cases Against Hungary 1-18-12 WSJ
I am quoting here the Wall Street Journal:
By MATTHEW DALTON
" The European Commission opened three legal cases on Tuesday against the Hungarian government, aiming to undo laws passed by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban that the commission says threaten the independence of key government institutions.
The cases from the European Union executive body, which is charged with enforcing EU rules, don't touch several other changes pushed by Mr. Orban that human-rights groups say risk entrenching the power of his Fidesz party in the Hungarian political system.
The commission gave Hungary one month to respond to the allegations. It could sue the government in the European Court of Justice—the EU's highest court—if the government doesn't change the laws to the commission's liking.
"The commission is determined to take any legal steps necessary to ensure that the compatibility with European Union law is maintained," European Commission President José Mañuel Barroso said."
And he plainly deserves it, politely said by the E.U. to straighten out his act, and dictatotial powers he assumed while at the helm of the European Union:
" Tuesday's actions relate to three areas: laws that dilute the powers of Hungary's central bank president Andras Simor; a lowering of the retirement age for judges and prosecutors to 62 from 70; and a law that replaced the head of Hungary's data-protection authority.EU vs Hungary: the Clash of the Censors 1-11-11
An Orban spokesman defended the laws, saying, "We will not allow the international left to accuse Hungary with lies and slander in front of the international public."
Among the issues not touched by the commission's cases are a planned redrawing of election districts, and restrictions on the power of the country's constitutional court. Hungary also put in place last year a new system of media regulation, which rights advocates say threatens independent journalism.
"Much more needs to be done to bring Hungary back onto the right path," said Mujtaba Rahman, an analyst at Eurasia Group, a political-risk consultancy. "The EU's focus is surprisingly narrow."
The lower age requirement, which would result in the removal of 274 judges, has aroused suspicions in Brussels that the government is using the new retirement age as a tool to pack the courts and prosecutors' offices with political allies. The commission says the age requirement violates antidiscrimination laws, and it is gathering more information on provisions that concentrate administrative powers over the courts in a single office.
Hungary faces the most pressure over central-bank laws. It is seeking financial aid from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, but both the EU and the IMF have made repealing changes in the central-bank laws a precondition for starting talks on a new loan package, which could range from €8 billion to €20 billion ($10.2 billion to $25.5 billion).
The new laws would allow a government minister to sit on Hungary's monetary council, the body in the central bank which sets interest rates, and require the bank to send the agenda of its meetings to the government in advance. A pay cut for Mr. Simor goes into effect immediately under the law, which the commission says could be seen as a way to put pressure on him.
The law also allows the Hungarian Parliament to propose removing members of the monetary council and could turn the central bank governor into a deputy in a new regulatory agency, "which would structurally encroach on his independence," the commission said.
Peter Gyorkos, Hungary's ambassador to the EU, said the government is eager to start talks with the commission, though some of the objections raised might need to be resolved by the court.
"It's not our favorite option, but it is one of the legal tools laid out in the EU treaty," Mr. Gyorkos told reporters Tuesday.
Write to Matthew Dalton at Matthew.Dalton@dowjones.com
In one sense, the new media law can be seen as part of Orban’s project of consolidating political power. But Orban is also settling scores with Hungary’s post-communist cultural elites. One reason why he commands such formidable influence in parliament is because of the popular revulsion against the Socialist government that ran the country for the eight years before Fidesz came to power. The Socialists oversaw a corrupt and self-serving regime that transformed sleaze into an artform. It was supported by those who benefited most from the post-Communist transition process. Some of these people were the formerly privileged members of the former Communist party nomenklatura. They simply privatised themselves and helped themselves to a portion of the nation’s state-controlled wealth.
Others were beneficiaries of EU largesse and gained influence by establishing relationships and deals with foreign businesses. The Socialist Party benefited from the support of foreign NGOs and the EU. Typically, when riots broke out in Budapest in 2006, the EU leadership denounced the protesters for being out of touch with ‘EU values’.
Such a reaction was not surprising considering that the then prime minister of Hungary, Ferenc Gyurcsany, was looked upon by Brussels as the most reliable and on-message leader in eastern Europe. He could be easily manipulated into anything.
It is worth recalling that the riots were provoked by the revelation that Gyurcsany was overheard admitting that he ‘lied morning, evening and night’ to the electorate about the state of the Hungarian economy. Yet as far as the EU bureaucracy was concerned, he may have been a liar but he was ‘our liar’.
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