Viktor Orbán

Regional News • Europe
Hungary passes new laws expanding executive powers and barring same-sex couples from adopting
Hungary passes new laws expanding executive powers and barring same-sex couples from adopting
Credit: Steffen Prößdorf, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Hungarian Parliament has passed a new law on Tuesday that will expand the executive powers, making it harder for the opposition to challenge PM Viktor Orbán and his party, and lowering the legal threshold for the government to declare a state of emergency.

Further, it introduced a redefinition of the concept of "family" in the country's constitution, stating that the "foundation of the family is marriage and the parent-child relationship. The mother is a woman, the father is a man", resulting in effectively barring same-sex couples from adopting children.

Regional News • Europe
Viktor Orbán states Hungary will stick by EU budget veto threat
Viktor Orbán
Viktor Orbán Credit: European People's Party (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Hungary will still reject any attempt to link the rule of law the European Union's budget and its coronavirus recovery fund, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday.

The Hungarian and the Polish governments are under EU investigations for undermining the independence of courts, media and non-governmental organisations, so they risk losing tens of billions in funds. Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński told DW that his government will never accept any proposal that "would effectively leave us at the mercy of the European Commission."

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.

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.