EU decision over legal action against Hungary due within days

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EU decision over legal action against Hungary due within days

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The European Commission will decide next week whether it is taking legal action against debt-ridden Hungary over its new constitution.

Budapest wants laws changed, including one seen as threatening the independence of the country’s central bank.

President Jose Manuel Barroso said the Commission will make an announcement about its threatened legal action on Tuesday.

“We remain preoccupied that some of that legislation may indeed be in violation of European laws and principles,” Barroso said.

“We will use all our powers to make sure that Hungary complies with the principles and values and the rules of the European Union,” he added.

The President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, told reporters on Thursday that he was “very concerned” about the pressure Hungarian authorities seem to be piling on the country’s institutions, including the central bank.

“The ECB is extremely careful about signs of pressure being put on decision-making bodies, by the decision-making bodies of any member state on their NCB (national central bank),” Draghi said.

“I think these pressures are inconsistent with the spirit of the treaty.”

Hungary’s new constitution, widely viewed as undermining democracy, has brought protesters onto the streets. It has also battered the country’s relationship with the EU, as it seeks a much-needed loan package.