|Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is raising hackles again|
Courtesy of Hungarian Parliament
Hungary’s parliament, dominated by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party, has adopted several controversial changes to the country’s constitution that many say undermine democratic values and the rule of law.
The new changes allow the constitutional court to challenge laws only on procedural grounds, not on their substance, and scrap all decisions made by the court before 2012, discarding a body of case law often used as reference.
EU politicians swiftly voiced their outrage. In a statement, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said that the changes to Hungary’s constitution “raise concerns with respect to the rule of law, EU law, and Council of Europe standards.”
Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, told CNBC that an EU member state could be kicked out of the bloc if it did not respect European rules and rights, but added that he was wary of passing judgment prematurely.
Mr Orban has some supporters in Poland, though. After his party lost Poland’s 2011 parliamentary elections, Law and Justice leader Jarosław Kaczyński said, “I’m certain that the day will come that we will succeed, and Warsaw will become Budapest,” referring to Fidesz’s 2010 election win.
While Mr Kaczyński is yet to comment on the recent developments in Budapest, some of his supporters have been less quiet. Last week, right-wing newspaper Gazeta Polska organized a trip for its readers to Hungary to show their support for Mr Orban and his policies. According to organizers, “hundreds of Poles” took part in the excursion.
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