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Poland anxious by European Union vote to censure Hungary

14 September, 2018, 15:57 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • EU Parliament to Debate Possible Sanctions Against Hungary

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told the European Parliament on Tuesday he would not bow to EU "blackmail" as lawmakers prepared to vote on whether to punish Budapest for eroding democracy.

It's the first time Article 7 has been triggered against a member state, just the start of a long process which could lead to Hungary's voting rights being suspended.

"She believes this could really be backed when it's voted tomorrow in parliament, even by some members of the European People's Party", said Méabh McMahon, Euronews Correspondent in Brussels.

Orban has for years deflected much of the worldwide condemnation of Hungary's electoral system, media freedoms, independence of the judiciary, mistreatment of asylum-seekers and refugees and limits on the functioning of non-governmental organizations.

The EPP membership has muted European Union reaction to Orban's policies over the years and the big question mark is how the group's 217 members will act when the vote is held on Wednesday.

But the vote was still hard to call.

"Democracy in our member states and in our European Union can not exist without the rule of law", Timmermans said, and went on to list concerns about fundamental rights, corruption in Hungary and the treatment of migrants.

"I am so proud that my Hungary report has the support of the European Parliament, but this is foremost about the rights of Hungarian citizens", Sargentini wrote on Twitter after the vote.

But Italy's anti-immigration Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said his League party's six European Union lawmakers would support Oran in the Wednesday vote.

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Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers a speech during a debate concerning Hungary's situation as part of a plenary session at the European Parliament on September 11, 2018 in Strasbourg, eastern France.

"Whatever decision you make, Hungary will not give in to extortion, Hungary will defend its borders, will stop illegal migration and will protect its rights, if needed, from you, too".

Dutch lawmaker Sophie in 't Veld urged the EU to consider cutting generous subsidies to Hungary, asking: "Why are we giving Mr Orban €87-million a week in order to destroy the European Union?" "Hungary has been condemned because they know that it would never accept pro-migrant policies".

A group of United Nations human rights experts on Tuesday expressed concern [press release] regarding Hungary's new immigration measures. This marks the first time the European Parliament has taken that step, though Poland faced similar action from the European Commission a year ago.

"We don't see these people as Muslim refugees".

The 12 chapters of the report condemn the disintegration of the rule-governed state and the Socialists agree with its findings concerning the administration of justice, constitutionality, and social affairs, the faction leader of the party told Hungarian media.

"Orban is a hero and deserves the Nobel Prize".

MEPs will vote on Wednesday on whether to launch a procedure that could lead to unprecedented political sanctions against Hungary, and deepen the continental divide between centrist pro-European parties and populist anti-migrant forces.

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