It is a troubled start to 2012 for Hungary which is welcoming in the new year with a new constitution, and continued protests against it. Sweeping legislation affecting the nation’s identity, economy and media have come into effect, despite protests from the opposition, the EU, the US and the IMF.
It is part of a package of reforms introduced by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s ruling centre-right Fidesz party, which has a two thirds majority in parliament.
Since coming to power in 2010 the government has used has used its large majority to curtail Hungary’s top court, tighten the government’s grip over the media, and revamp the electoral system.
But of greatest concern to the EU is a new central bank law that Brussels and the IMF says infringes the bank’s independence. It has put in jeopardy
Talks on a funding deal that analysts say Hungary needs urgently to shore up its financial markets.