News / Europe

EU Presses Hungary to Make Further Spending Cuts

A dealer stands in the trading room of investment house BudaCash after bonds plunged further in a deepening crisis due to the government's widely-criticized policy course, in Budapest, Hungary, January 5, 2012.
A dealer stands in the trading room of investment house BudaCash after bonds plunged further in a deepening crisis due to the government's widely-criticized policy course, in Budapest, Hungary, January 5, 2012.

The European Union is heightening its pressure on Hungary for reforms, saying that it has failed to effectively control its budget deficit and that its new constitution may be unlawful.

EU economy minister Olli Rehn said Wednesday that the Budapest government has failed to permanently keep its deficit spending below the EU-mandated level of 3 percent of the country's economic output.

"It is on an unsustainable path and will reach about 3 percent next year and thus again breach the reference value of the treaty. This is why we have concluded that Hungary has not taken effective action in response to the council recommendations," said Rehn.

Rehn said the EU could withhold development funds for Hungary if it does not curtail its spending.

Meanwhile, the EU also said it is nearing completion of a review to determine whether Hungary's new constitution violates EU standards by curtailing the independence of the country's judges, the central bank and its data protection agency. Some critics say the constitutional changes pushed through by Prime Minister Viktor Orban's parliamentary majority in December could return the one-time Soviet-bloc country to an authoritarian state.

Hungary is seeking a bailout of up to $25 billion from the EU and International Monetary Union, but talks were suspended over the assistance after the central bank provisions were approved.

Meanwhile, even Germany, Europe's economic powerhouse, said it is not immune from the effects of the continent's slowing economy and the effects of the two-year governmental debt crisis. Germany said Wednesday its economy shrunk by a quarter of a percentage point in the last three months of 2011.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid