EU proposal for ban on Russian gas blocked by Orban says expert
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This allows the country’s outspoken Prime Minister to to repeal existing laws and take coercive measures by decree, meaning his Government can respond quickly to challenges created by the war in Ukraine. Viktor Orban said his Government’s first measures would be announced on Wednesday as he desperately attempts to stabilise Hungary’s economy as the conflict in Ukraine rages on. The Hungarian leader and right-wing nationalist politician announced the move in a video posted to his Facebook page on Tuesday.
He warned: “The world is on the brink of an economic crisis.
“Hungary must stay out of this war and protect the financial security of its families.”
This, he added, requires “flexibility and immediate action”.
Mr Orban, who won a fourth consecutive term in the country’s election early last month, has previously used the legal order – the first due to Europe’s migration crisis and secondly during the Covid pandemic.
The new state of emergency works in a similar way as it empowers his Government to respond faster by approving measures by decree.
On Tuesday, Mr Orban had the constitutional basis for this kind of state of emergency created in the Hungarian parliament.
Due to the two-thirds majority of the right-wing nationalist Fidesz party, which was won in the recent election, parliament approved the constitutional amendment.
This states the country’s Government can declare a state of emergency if a neighbouring country is affected by an armed conflict, a war or a humanitarian disaster.
Like many other countries throughout the continent, Hungary’s economy and financial outlook has been battered by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Annual inflation has surged to 9.5 percent, while the budget deficit ballooned in the first quarter due to a pre-election spending spree.
It means Mr Orban is now fighting to prevent a significant and marked slowdown in the Hungarian economy.
Ukraine is one of Hungary’s geographical neighbours, yet since the start of the war on February 24, he has so far only half-heartedly condemned Russia’s brutal aggression against Kyiv.
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The Hungarian Prime Minister has been adamant no weapons deliveries to Ukraine should pass through his country.
A small fraction of the terrified refugees who fled Ukraine in fear of Putin’s brutal regime and have gone to Hungary sought asylum there.
Hungary, and in particular Mr Orban, also continue to be at loggerheads with the European Union, this time with the Prime Minister blocking the planned oil import embargo against Russia by threatening to veto it.
In addition, the country is also under a Covid state of emergency until the end of this month as it looks to wipe out the deadly virus.
This was imposed at the beginning of the pandemic in spring 2020, with parliament extending it several times since.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.
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