EU to slam Hungary for constitution
BRUSSELS -Agence France-PresseThe EU executive will demand Hungary row back on controversial changes to its constitution or face possible legal action in warnings to be delivered next week, a European Union source said yesterday.
The source said the European Commission was readying three letters of warning to the Hungarian government regarding the independence of its central bank, judiciary and data protection services. “Three letters of warning are in preparation” for delivery next week, the first step in potential infringement proceedings against Budapest, the source said.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban has come under international and domestic fire over constitutional reforms adopted by his parliamentary majority late December. Critics say they remove checks and balances on the power of the government and increase Orban’s control over the judiciary and central bank, while skewing the electoral system in his party’s favor and curbing freedom of the press. A request by the economically troubled nation for a bailout by the European Union and IMF worth $20-25 billion is in limbo after talks were suspended last month over EU concerns about its new bank law.