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‘Brexit should be a lesson!’ Furious Hungary promises EU WAR over new Brussels crackdown

HUNGARY today defiantly vowed to “fight” the European Union after it was slapped with fresh infringement proceedings over Viktor Orban’s crackdown on charities and NGOs.

By NICK GUTTERIDGE, BRUSSELS CORRESPONDENT

Budapest reacted furiously to news that Brussels is stepping up its case against new rules targeting foreign-funded organisations which eurocrats say contravene European law.A government spokesman fumed “if we have to fight it, we’re going to go for it” and warned the EU that Brexit “should be a lesson” for what happens if it meddles too far in nations’ sovereignty.

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban and German chancellor Angela MerkelGETTY

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban and German chancellor Angela Merkel


Brussels is already pursuing infringement proceedings against Budapest over its refusal to take in migrants as part of the bloc’s mandatory refugee relocation scheme.

Hungarian lawyers had launched a legal appeal against the programme, which was controversially decided by a majority vote in the EU Council, but lost their case at the ECJ last month.
Aside from that Mr Orban is also involved in a bitter tussle with the EU over a crackdown on NGOs that get their funding from overseas which will make it harder for them to operate in Hungary.The firebrand PM claims that the new law is required to negate the influence of the Hungarian born, but US based, financier George Soros who he accused to trying to undermine the state.

Budapest has run a fierce publicity campaign against Mr Soros – a frequent visitor of Brussels boss Jean-Claude Juncker – which has been heavily criticised for its anti-semitic tone and imagery.

“Brexit should be a lesson actually to Brussels’ bureaucracy

Zoltan Kovacs

Yesterday the EU Commission upped its action against the new rules, which it says could “prevent NGOs from raising funds and would restrict their ability to carry out their work”.In a statement it said: “Having carefully analysed the explanations put forward by Hungary, the European Commission concludes that its serious concerns have not been addressed.

Eurocrats added Hungary now has one month to “take the necessary measures to comply” or it risks being hauled before judges at the European Court of Justice once again.

However, Budapest immediately hit back at the move with another attack on Mr Soros and what it sees as a European elite. The ruling Fidesz party raged: “Brussels is defending the interests of the Soros organisations with all its means.”

“Brexit should be a lesson actually to Brussels’ bureaucracy because it’s not a cause, it’s an outcome of problems regarding the relationship of Brussels vis-à-vis London.”

The clash is just the latest in a series of heated battles between Brussels, backed by Germany and France, and Eastern capitals over the extent to which the EU can intervene in members’ internal affairs.

Some commentators have observed that the growing East-West divide within the bloc presents a far greater threat to its future than either Brexit or the prospect of another eurozone crisis.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/862578/European-Union-Hungary-vows-fight-EU-infringement-proceedings-Soros-NGO-law

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