EU Threatens Legal Action Against Hungary Over New Laws

Posted January 17th, 2012 at 8:50 pm (UTC-5)
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The European Union is threatening legal action against Hungary for what it says is Hungary's failure to make several new laws comply with EU regulations.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said Tuesday he does not want a shadow of a doubt that Hungary respects democratic principles and values. He said the quicker the issue is resolved, the better.

The Hungarian laws covering regulation of the central bank, the judiciary and the governments' data protection office took effect on New Year's Day. EU officials say the new laws threaten the independence of those institutions. The EU could bring Hungary before the European Court of Justice.

Many Hungarians accuse conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz Party of drifting toward dictatorship.

Because of the controversial new laws, the EU and International Monetary Fund have suspended talks with Hungary on a badly needed loan.