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EP adopts critical resolution on Hungary

July 4th, 2013

The main left-wing daily claims the EU cannot do much about Mr Orbán’s domestic policies while the PM reaps applause at home as a champion of independence. Another leftist outlet ridicules Orbán’s notion that the West is in decline and Hungary has brought new solutions to the crisis of advanced societies. A pro-government columnist, on the other hand, points out that members of the EPP defended Orbán in Brussels and sees business interests behind the attacks on him and his policies.

The European Parliament approved a resolution based on a report compiled by Portuguese lawmaker Rui Tavares, urging Hungary to change disputed laws “as swiftly as possible” to comply with “European standards”. (See BudaPost, June 22.) PM Orbán rejected the resolution, saying it unfairly singles out Hungary and is based on false premises. In the plenary session before the vote, the Prime Minister told MEPs he knew the socialists, the liberals and the greens would pass the resolution, but warned them that they were embarking on a dangerous path by placing Hungary under surveillance, for such a measure does not fit into the framework of the Lisbon Treaty – the “constitution” of the EU.

In its front page editorial, Népszabadság suggests the EU cannot do much about Orbán’s domestic policies. After EPP members defended the Hungarian Prime Minister, his prestige survives intact. Ye,t the report might be a first step towards a new institution that could supervise compliance with broad European standards and sanction anti-democratic tendencies in member states.

In Galamus, Csaba Fazekas according to which Hungary has invented a completely new set of policies to solve the crisis, while the West continues in its downward spiral. Orbán might believe his own rhetoric, the author notes, but so far citizens voted with their feet, leaving Hungaryin their tens of thousands. But – Fazekas notes ironically –, if he is right, one day Dutch, British and French citizens will flock to a fast growing Hungary in search of employment.

Magyar Hírlap’s Zsolt Bayer in Tuesday’s plenary session, singling out Polish MEP Jacek Olgierk Kursk who apologized to the Hungarian Prime Minister and emphasized that the Hungarian government is being attacked for defending national sovereignty. Bayer claims that while reasonable people can see how successful the Hungarian government is, critics keep repeating ”their obsessions” because that is all they have against Orbán. Bayer also states that the Socialist government in Romania, governing with a two-thirds majority, “was forced by the IMF to privatize the energy providers”, with the result that despite a sizeable domestic gas production, “Romanians now have to pay an exorbitant price” for energy. ‘This is the freedom Hungary’s critics miss,” he writes bitterly, quoting Spinoza, who said the strength of societies can be measured by how many parasites they can feed. By these standards, Bayer concludes, “East-European societies are among the strongest”.

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