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Stalemate with Europe still not over?

May 7th, 2012

A Népszabadság columnist writes that the Orbán government’s stability is an asset but the EU still has some cards to play if Orbán does not conform to IMF expectations. The editor-in-chief of Heti Válasz describes a piece of advice allegedly coming from the European Commission as disregard for the basic principles of democracy, yet he adds that important matters should be thoroughly negotiated backstage – even if the government’s two thirds majority would allow for unilateral decisions.

In Népszabadság, Endre Aczél says EU member states face the corrosion of governmental stability and efficiency. The government has fallen in Romania and the Netherlands, in the Czech Republic it has barely survived, and no one knows to what extent an Hollande-led France will soften Merkel’s austerity programme. The Orbán government, with its two thirds majority, has a certain appeal in such a Europe, as a bastion of stability. Yet, Aczél concludes, the „benignly forgotten” actions against Hungary, as well as the Venice Report (See BudaPost, March 28) may resurface during the upcoming IMF negotiations if Hungary does not cooperate.

In Heti Válasz Gábor Borókai comments on rumours in the left wing media, according to which further advice is to be expected from the Council of Europe, suggesting that the media law should be re-negotiated with all parliamentary parties involved. If such rumours are substantiated, this would prove that EU institutions have no regard for an “unprecedented” two thirds parliamentary mandate. The EU is a bureaucracy of experts, and as such, is impatient with a strong government that has a powerful mandate and is unwilling to cooperate with the opposition, he says. Borókai adds that although the use of a two-thirds majority to swiftly draft and pass laws is legitimate and democratic, it is not a carte blanche pass for circumventing mandatory consultation or brandishing weapons of overwhelming power. Who draws the sword may perish by the sword – he warns.

In a new conservative blog, Oikosz, Ervin Nagy, a regular columnist at Magyar Hírlap writes that the EU is overstreching its legal powers when it demands constitutional and other statutory changes in exchange for a “financial safety net”. He thinks EU decision-makers are backed by powerful financial actors who intend to expose Hungary to the international markets. The EU, he concludes, serves the interests of such global agents when it takes on Hungary.

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