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Hungary vows to make reforms for EU funds
Budapest has proposed extensive judicial reforms in a bid to unlock billions of euros from the EU’s post-pandemic recovery fund, according to Politico. The EU funds are being withheld from Hungary over rule-of-law and corruption concerns in the country.
Civil society groups in Hungary warned that nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is duping the EU with his reform promises. “In a system where corruption is so deeply linked to its functioning,” Sándor Léderer, director of K-Monitor, an anti-corruption group told the news outlet. “it’s very hard to imagine that at this political level anyone would take the fight against corruption seriously.”
The Commission will decide on the funds before the end of the month, Politico writes.
Pro-Orbán think-tank will launch next week in Brussels
MCC Brussels, an arm of the pro-government Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) will launch in Brussels next week. MCC received $1,7 billion in government funds, the New York Times reported last year. The newspaper described the collage as 'Orban's bid to create a conservative elite'.
"Hungary is hated by the West’s culture warriors for the simple reason that it dares to question their post-traditionalist, identity-politics-fueled worldview," Frank Furedi, executive director of MCC Brussels, wrote in an op-ed for Politico. "The new think tank, (...) is aiming to promote mature, thoughtful discussion about the cultural tensions prevailing across the Continent," he added.
Fidesz voted no twice to discuss Finnish and Swedish NATO accession
Hungary's parliament will discuss the ratification of Finland's and Sweden's NATO accession during the fall, Gergely Gulyas, Orban's chief of staff, said on Wednesday. Two Hungarian opposition parties submitted a proposal earlier this week that wanted the parliament to discuss the NATO accession of the two nordic countries in a quick motion, but Fidesz vetoed both proposals.
"Finland and Sweden are our allies, and they can count on us," Gulyas said during a press briefing.
I had a telephone conversation with @PM_ViktorOrban. Good that Finland can count on Hungary in our NATO ratification. I look forward to further strengthening our Fenno-Ugric connection also as allies.— Sauli Niinistö (@niinisto) November 2, 2022
Finnish president, Sauli Niinistö, called Orbán to discuss the delay last week. The two leaders tweeted about their phone conversation, but Orban did not mention NATO in his post.
Hungarian-Finnish relations have an ancient history. Our cooperation has always been excellent, and will always be excellent! Thank you for the conversation, President @niinisto! https://t.co/t3qhwlyHrM— Orbán Viktor (@PM_ViktorOrban) November 2, 2022
Fidesz MEP criticizes sanctions on Russia to the party's supporters
Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutsch held a speech at Nagykata, in the municipal library, where he explained to the party's local supporters why EU sanctions on Russia are 'wrong', 444 reports. Deutsch also talked about the EU "lying to the people" because in February, at the Versailles summit everyone said that there would be no energy sanctions'. He condemned the war in Ukraine but added that nothing is as bad for the economy as sanctions. "Who is winning with the sanctions? The Americans and the Chinese," he said and showed an image of George Soros, a Hungarian-born billionaire, and philanthropist, and his son, Alexander.
Deutsch prepared his supporters for difficult times and high inflation but warned that Fidesz is the only party offering them a solution. He stressed that the right-wing party is doing everything to improve the current economic situation.