News / Europe

    Hungary and EU Attempt to Find Accord in Dispute

    A Hungarian protestor covers her mouth with a mask during a protest in support of the largest opposition radio station 'Klub Radio', which recently lost its radio frequency in Budapest, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012.
    A Hungarian protestor covers her mouth with a mask during a protest in support of the largest opposition radio station 'Klub Radio', which recently lost its radio frequency in Budapest, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012.
    Stefan Bos

    About 10,000 people demonstrated in the Hungarian capital in support of an opposition radio station that is being taken off the air by the government, amid a showdown with the European Union. The protest followed a pro-government march that drew 100,000 people a day earlier.

    The protesters marched Sunday in Budapest carrying placards saying "Down with censorship."  Opposition station, Klubradio, is due to go off the air March 1, after Hungary's media council, stacked with allies of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party, pulled its frequency late last year.

    Controversial laws setting up the media council drew international criticism, and the European Commission wrote to Hungary last week to express new concerns about press freedom and pluralism, citing the case of Klubradio.

    Adding to the pressure the European executive has launched legal action against Hungary over contested reforms of its judiciary, central bank and data protection authority.  Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is to travel Tuesday to Brussels to meet Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to discuss the dispute.

    On Saturday about 100,000 supporters of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban marched to the parliament building to protest the EU criticism .  

    Some marchers carried pictures of Mr. Orban, others slogans such as "we don't want to be a colony" as well as Hungarian flags.

    Among those demonstrators was a somewhat out-of-tune singing artist who had a message to the international community. She said "Hungary stood up against the world, but now we are under attack.

    On Friday, before the rally, Mr. Orban pledged to change the contested legislation to avoid deepening the rift with the European Union.  

    The Orban government is seeking as much as $26 billion in financial assistance from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, although Mr. Orban tried to play down the request when speaking to reporters.

    "But I would like to say clearly that what we need is just precautionary.  It is very important otherwise, you know, [there will be the] accusation which is going on among the European citizens like in [the case of] Greece, that the Germans feel that they finance something, which does not make the necessary efforts to help himself.  You know, I would not like to get that picture on Hungary," he said.

    The prime minister adds the loan is aimed to make Hungary strong again on the market, after several rating agencies downgraded the country's debt to “junk” amid concerns over the political and economic situation in the country.

    The IMF and European Commission have made clear that talks on assistance may only resume if key Central Bank and other legislation has been changed.

    And with European officials also concerned about pressure on media and churches, more debates, and demonstrations, are expected.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora