EU Commissioner: Long way to go for Hungary to receive EU funds

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Johannes Hahn: The Hungarian government had not yet met the conditions to receive EU funds

EU Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn says there is no specific deadline for the ongoing procedure against Hungary, Euronews reports. It is also possible that the closure of the case will slip into the next Commission's tasks in 2024. "There are still major issues to be resolved, so we are nowhere near the finish line," said Hahn during a hearing at the European Parliament. The Austrian politician called the setting up the Integrity Authority a step forward but said the Hungarian government had not yet met the conditions. 

He also denied that the Commission was blocking the deal. The Commission is interested in a solution that serves the interests of Hungarian citizens, he added. Hahn also said that since the rule of law procedure has no time limit, the process could be completed after the next European Commission is in place. He suggested that it might be worth changing the rules of the procedure in the future.

"The ball is in Hungary's court, Hungarians have to decide, not just to make announcements. We will only to evaluate them", Hahn stressed.

European Parliament to adopt resolution declaring Orban government unfit for Council presidency

The European Parliament may adopt a resolution that says the Orbán government is unfit to hold the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, Hungarian daily, Nepszava reports.  At its next plenary session, the EP will adopt a resolution on the rule of law in Hungary and the frozen EU funds. The draft resolution raises the issue of whether Hungary will be able to fulfill its role as EU Council president next year. 

Since the adoption of the EP resolution in September last year, the situation of the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary has continued to deteriorate, the draft reads. 

It condemns the anti-EU campaigns which have become part of the right-wing Orban government's strategy. According to the draft resolution, the EP calls on the Council to find a solution, or the EP will intervene.

Thousands protests for teacher's rights

Thousands of teachers and students protested on Friday again for higher salaries and better working conditions for educators, AP reports. 

Students and teachers have held a series of similar protests over the past few months, despite the government's warning that educators risk losing their jobs if they do so. Five teachers have previously lost their jobs for 'civil disobedience. Critics argue that the Orban government should be able to finance its education system using its own national budget, and that the current working conditions are causing a critical shortage of educators.

Hungarian teachers earn the lowest wage among the 38 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. Orban's right-wing government has tied raising their wages to EU funds currently blocked over corruption concerns.

444: Footage shows how the public media manipulates public opinion

A short clip from one of MTVA's studios, shows a part of the evening news aired on 2 May it includes the raw and uncut footage, followed by the footage that was broadcast, 444 reports. The subject could not be more political: the opposition-led municipality of Budapest wants to divert traffic away from the Chain Bridge.

Accoring to the preview the people of Budapest were against the decision. The uncut footage shows that only those opinions were broadcast that supported the governing party's political narrative.

The erosion of Hungary’s independent media has been unfolding since Viktor Orbán was elected in 2010.Shortly after he became PM gain, a new law asserted government control over the main media regulator. In the upcoming years, independentmedia outlets went bankrupt or ended in the hands of government-friendly businessmen.