Hungary PM slams EU sanctions threat

Hungary PM slams EU sanctions threat

Hungary PM slams EU sanctions threat

European Union lawmakers want action taken against member state Hungary amid deep concerns about the deterioration in human rights, democracy and the rule of law there.

The resolution specifically talks about the right of expression, academic freedom, rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees as well as the right to peaceful gatherings.

"The European Parliament calls on the European Commission to strictly monitor the use of EU funds by the Hungarian Government".

Hungary's ruling party Fidesz reacted to Wednesday's vote by saying it was "a shame that Hungarian leftist MPs also voted for the resolution" under alleged orders from U.S. billionaire George Soros. Of a total of 199 EPP votes, 107 voted against the instructions, of which 67 voted in support of the resolution and 40 abstained.

The resolution, which was adopted by 393 votes in favor, 221 votes against, and 64 abstentions, might result in sanctions for Hungary, including stripping it of voting rights in the EU's top decision-making body, the European Council. With nearly 400 votes, we decided that Article 7 should be triggered against Hungary: stringent control and, in the worst case, sanctions against the systematic and systemic violations of the rule of law.

Recent developments in Hungary have led to a serious deterioration in the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights which is testing the EU's ability to defend its founding values, the press office of the European Parliament said.

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They also want Budapest to reach an agreement with US authorities so a university funded by George Soros can continue to operate freely in the Hungarian capital. The European Commission has started separate legal action against Hungary over the issue.

That dispute is part of a wider government campaign against the billionaire philanthropist.

"It is certainly a painful step, and we had truly hoped we could avoid this".

"We have a duty to do something about the illiberal drift imposed by Orban in Hungary", Socialist group leader Gianni Pittella said after the vote.

In a statement released after the vote, the party accused the European Union parliament of attacking Hungary, saying the institution was inspired by leftist parties to "force illegal immigration" on the country.

Hungary is expected to hold general elections next spring, and there are concerns that a continued political battle with Brussels would only strengthen Orban's voter base.

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