Regional News • Europe
Hungary to close its border by September 1 to curb Covid-19 surge
Austria-Hungary border
Austria-Hungary border Credit: Steindy (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Hungary will close its border to foreign citizens starting September 1 to curb the spread of Covid-19 as the country sees a surge of infections. Returning citizens will need to self-quarantine for 14 days or must present two negative Covid-19 test results.

F1: Hamilton wins Hungarian GP for the eighth time
Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton Credit: Formula One (Twitter Reproduction)

Lewis Hamilton confirmed his favouritism and won the Formula One Hungarian GP. Second place went to Red Bull's Max Verstappen, with Mercedes to Valtteri Bottas in third.

Hamilton started from pole position and was not threatened during the 70 laps of the race, winning for the eighth time in Hungaroring. The British took the top spot in the driver standings after Round 3.

Hungary tightens advertisement regulations for homeopathic products
Hungary tightens advertisement regulations for homeopathic products
Credit: / Markus Frieauff

Starting July 1, homeopathic products are only allowed to be marketed as medical products with a therapeutic claim or indication if the effect has been proven in clinical trials in Hungary. This affects 41 homeopathic products as Hungary has no homeopathic product on the market that has proven therapeutic efficiency in clinical trials. If a homeopathic product is not able to prove its efficiency through clinical trials it can be registered as a "high-dilution product" but is not allowed to be marketed with a therapeutic indication.

Regional News • Europe
Charlemagne-Prize recipient President fuels tension against minorities in his own country

Romania's president, Klaus Iohannis, has mocked the minority Hungarian community and the Social-Democratic Party by accusing them of "giving away in secret" a piece of the state's territory to Hungary.

The president had been nominated for the Charlemagne prize last autumn on the grounds of defending multiculturality, diversity, unity, and democracy, core values of the European Union, values that this statement of his contradicts according to political commentators. They speculate that it was probably just a political maneuver to rally the country's right-wing voters to his party for the upcoming municipal elections and that it shows the biggest flaw of Eastern European EU member states: sacrificing democratic values to strengthen the state, a leftover tradition from the Cold War.

Regional News • Europe
Second Hungarian Taken by Police for Writing on Facebook

Five policemen showed up at a man's home in the town of Gyula, Hungary, to take him in. The reason: he posted on Facebook about the 1170 beds that were emptied in the local hospital. This is the second time Orbán's "war on fake news" has resulted in action by the police since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in Hungary, when the government bill giving the Prime Minister near-total power was passed, including a section that criminalizes the spread of misinformation about the virus. During the four hours of questioning at the local police precinct, the man kept asking for his lawyer until he got released but was left to get home on his own means, regardless of his physical disability.

Football Leaks' whistleblower released from custody

Rui Pinto is now under house arrest, still banned from the Internet, and awaiting trial. Extradited from Hungary in March 2019 for alleged attempts of blackmailing an investment fund, Pinto is currently facing 90 allegations of criminal offense in Portugal. Pinto had previously published evidence of corruption and tax evasion that have since lead to investigations both in and outside the world of football.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
EU politicians deem Hungary's emergency law "incompatible with EU membership"

Politicians from the liberal group in the European parliament have claimed that the legislation that enables the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban to rule by decree without time limits is incompatible with an active membership in the European Union. The chair of the European parliament's rule of law group, Sophie in’t Veld, who's a Dutch member of parliament and part of the liberal group in the MEP said in a statement that Orban has succeeded with "killing democracy and the rule of law in Hungary".

Regional News • Europe
Hungary suspends parliament and enables Orban to rule by decree

In order to fight the coronavirus, the Hungarian parliament has suspended itself indefinitely and provided the prime minister Viktor Orban with the power to rule by decree. While this rule is in place no elections or referendums can be held, reporting that is judged to be false can be punished other measures can be taken without the need to go through the regular democratic processes. The legislation reached the necessary majority of two-thirds with 138 votes in favor and 53 votes against.