Embattled prime minister Viktor Orban has come under renewed fire over Hungary’s recently reformed constitution. During a heated debate in Strasbourg, MEPs slammed Orban who was in the EU parliament to defend his government’s policies.
Liberal leader Guy Verhofstadt said: “I have here a document, a document of in total 30 breaches of the treaty. So to say that there’s no problem today in Hungary, and that there is no big problem, I am astonished by that.”
Across the chamber, leaders criticised the disputed laws a day after the EU Commission announced legal action against Budapest.
Lambasting Orban, co-President of the Greens Daniel Cohn-Bendit said: ‘‘There has been constitutional reform, yes, but reform can either go in the right direction or the wrong direction. What we’re telling you is that this is going in the same direction as Mr Chavez and Mr Castro and totalitarian and authoritarian regimes around the world which we are trying to fight with you.’‘
Defending his government’s approach and Hungary’s political culture Orban said he was sure the problems with the legislation would be resolved quickly.
“We have Christian beliefs, and we believe being part of the nation and family is important.
Maybe there are many in this chamber that feel differently, but I think it is still a European value and we are free to represent this view,” Orban said.
Brussels has told Budapest it must alter a raft of legislation if it is to avoid legal action within a month and win approval for a financial rescue package.