European Parliament condemns Hungary for violating EU values

European Parliament condemns Hungary for violating EU values”

The statement from the government in Prague came after a European Parliament vote to sanction the country for flouting EU rules, Reuters reports. Critics say that Hungary's electoral system is disproportionate; media freedoms and judicial independence are dwindling; asylum-seekers and refugees are mistreated and there are limits placed on non-governmental organizations.

"The Hungarian people deserve better", Sargentini said. Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban (L) arrives for an EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia on May 17, 2018.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto reacted angrily to the vote, calling it the "petty revenge" of "pro-immigration" politicians. The ultimate sanction, the suspension of Hungary's voting rights in the European Union, is unlikely as Poland is set to veto that move.

The proposal concerning Hungary, which MEPs vote on 12 September, would be the first time that Parliament takes the initiative of recommending that the mechanism should be triggered. MEPs voted 448 in favour and 197 against, with 48 abstentions in Strasbourg on the report that required a two-thirds majority to pass.

Judith Sargentini, who presented the report prepared by the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, called it "a historic result for Hungarian and for European citizens".

"Hungary shall continue to defend its borders, stop illegal immigration and defend its rights - against you, too, if necessary", he said, drawing applause from the eurosceptic, far-right lawmakers in the assembly.

The vote on the proceedings, known as Article 7 after a provision in the European Union treaties, was welcomed by Orban's increasingly besieged foes inside Hungary, who saw it as their final hope to preserve democratic values at home, and his critics across Europe.

Poland will "vote against any possible sanctions" that could be "imposed on Hungary within ..."

In a brief speech to parliament on Tuesday, Orban vowed that Hungary would resist any attempt to "blackmail" it into softening its anti-migrant stance, which he charged was the motive behind the vote. But a party spokesman said the group was divided about 50-50.

Farage said the European Union - with the backing of USA financier George Soros "and people like that" - wanted to "break down" nation states and "change the entire identity of the entire continent".

Following the passage of the law, which many in Hungary saw as part of the government's wider crackdown on dissent, the Budapest-based University began holding classes in the United States in partnership with New York's Bard College earlier this year.

The EPP's leader, Manfred Weber, said he would vote in favor of the motion against Orban's government, whose Fidesz party belongs to his grouping.

"The order has arrived from Berlin and they will vote accordingly", Orban said, in reference to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose governing Christian Democratic Union is the largest party in the EPP.

"Each EU Member State has a sovereign right to carry out the internal reforms that it considers appropriate", the message said.

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