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Polish conservatives show solidarity with Hungarian Fidesz

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 17.01.2012 15:57
MPs from the opposition Law and Justice (PiS), gathered outside the European Commission (EC) office in Warsaw Tuesday, to protest against the EU, as it launches legal action against the government in Budapest.

PiS MP Artur Gorski gives speech to protestors: photo - PAP/Pawel Supernak

The protest included PiS MPs Arkadiusz Czartoryski, Artur Gorski and Maks Kraczkowski. "We have organised this picket ... because the EC is today deciding whether to carry out its punitive actions against Hungary,” Czartoryski said.

The MPs handed in a statement addressed to EC head Jose Manuela Barroso, noting what they called “the multi-century tradition of friendship between Poland and Hungary.”

The statement reads that the EC has no mandate to undertake any actions with regards the Hungarian government. It called the EC’s stance “financial blackmail.”

On January 1st Hungary introduced various changes to its constitution, altering the rules governing the central bank, the judicial system and pensionable age of judges and media licensing amongst other things.

The EC has said it has sent Formal Notice to Hungary's government, the first step in taking 'infringement proceedings, which could take away Budapest's voting rights within the 27-nation bloc.

The EU also wants Hungary to drop a legal case against ex-PM Ferenc Gyurcsany. Gyurcsany is facing charges for abuse of power related to a real estate transaction to set up a casino.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban's conservative Fidesz party came to power in 2010 and has a parliamentary majority.

The EC is demanding that Hungary must make changes within the next month or be taken to the European Court of Justice.

The EU and IMF have also said progress on talks over a precautionary financial support programme for Hungary depend on the Hungarian government guaranteeing the independence of the country’s central bank. Both broke off talks with Hungary recently.

Hungary saw a second sovereign credit downgrade to junk in the space of one month recently.

Raising cash is becoming increasingly expensive for the government, with the 2022 bond yield at 9.7%, clearly not sustainable long-term.(jh/pg)

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