Hungarian PM Promises to Alter Controversial Laws

Posted January 18th, 2012 at 5:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is promising to change several laws that have prompted the threat of European Union legal action.

Mr. Orban told the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France Wednesday that differences with the EU can be easily and quickly resolved. He said he hopes to find a solution during upcoming talks with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

EU officials say the new laws covering regulation of the Hungarian central bank, judiciary, and the data protection office threaten the independence of those institutions and violate EU regulations.

The European Union and International Monetary Fund have suspended talks on a badly needed new loan for Hungary because of the controversy.

Some EU lawmakers Wednesday accused the conservative Mr. Orban of moving Hungary toward totalitarianism. The prime minister has said Hungary is dedicated to European values.