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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid