Some EU Lawmakers Oppose Release of Funds to Hungary's Orban

Some European Union lawmakers warned the bloc's executive Commission against unlocking billions of euros in funds for Hungary, saying Prime Minister Viktor Orban was trampling on democratic norms, Reuters reported. The Brussels-based European Commission is expected next week to endorse giving to Hungary funds worth as much as a tenth of the country's estimated 2022 GDP after Budapest moves to improve anti-graft safeguards and the independence of its judiciary. Orban has clashed bitterly with the EU over democratic norms, as the Hungarian leader tightened restrictions on NGOs, media, academics and judges and cracked down on the rights of migrants and gays. Lawmakers representing the Socialist & Democrats faction in the European Parliament, as well as those with the liberal Renew and the Greens said the latest changes were nowhere near enough to ensure a sound democracy in Hungary. "The Hungarian government is not respecting the rule of law," said Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, a Spanish member of the S&D. "The correct decision is to approve the freezing of the funds." Read more.