• Germany edition
 
Hungary defies Merkel's criticism of new press laws
Photo: DPA

Hungary defies Merkel's criticism of new press laws

Published: 24 Dec 2010 11:07 GMT+01:00
Updated: 24 Dec 2010 11:07 GMT+01:00

"As for the poor German chancellor – she has been dragged into this," Orbán said in sympathy for his German counterpart, after Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Hungary over its new laws. Orbán said that Merkel's spokesman had simply said that an EU state must abide by EU norms. "Hungary is doing that," Orbán asserted.

Merkel released a critical statement this week after the Hungarian parliament passed a law establishing a new body with powers to oversee public news production and levy high fines on private media that break rules on political journalism.

Hungarian author György Konrad compared the law to measures taken in the early phase of the Nazi regime. "It reminds me a lot of 1933, when the National Socialist party came to power with a electoral majority under apparently democratic conditions," he told German newspaper Berliner Zeitung.

Merkel's statement said the German government viewed the legislation with "great attention." But some European parliamentary members allied to Merkel ridiculed the criticism of Hungary.

Markus Ferber, European parliamentary leader for the Christian Social Union – sister party to Merkel's Christian Democratic Union – called the attacks on Hungary "laughable," saying that much was exaggerated.

"We don't dream of changing the law," Orbán said Thursday night on Hungarian TV. He said there was not a single clause that did not conform to comparable laws in "some" EU country. "I'm not inclined to react to parliamentary debates or the western reaction with trembling knees," he said.

DPA/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

13:28 December 24, 2010 by catjones
"Defy" is not the correct word. Hungary is a sovereign country and does not, yet , report to Germany. "Reject" might be a better choice.
16:56 December 24, 2010 by storymann
True,, catjones but hard to comment on this when there is no information as to what

kind of power they would have over the media,I can only assume from the article that it is not censorship.
19:00 December 24, 2010 by romber58
Does anyone know why there is so little detail about this story?----Julian ,can you help?
23:52 December 29, 2010 by wxman
I imagine WWII will remain fresh in Hungarian minds for some time. Ergo, they would even oppose Germany declaring the sun rises in the east.
Today's headlines
Most Germans fear Russian action: Poll
Photo: DPA

Most Germans fear Russian action: Poll

Ahead of the Nato summit in Wales starting on Thursday, a new poll has shown that while most Germans fear military escaltion between Russia and the Ukraine, only half want to see the alliance intervene. READ  

Farmers 'not to get full sanction compensation'
Photo: DPA

Farmers 'not to get full sanction compensation'

Germany's agriculture minister warned on Tuesday that European farmers hit by a Russian import ban would not receive full compensation, ahead of talks with his French and Polish counterparts. READ  

Denmark, Germany launch joint patrols
A Danish officer (l) with a German colleague on patrol in a Danish squad car near Pattburg. Photo: DPA

Denmark, Germany launch joint patrols

Police officers from both countries will in the future mount joint patrols in frontier areas, both in uniform and in plain clothes, the sides agreed on Tuesday. READ  

Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims
Floral tributes were laid on Tuesday at the new Holocaust memorial in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims

A 24-metre blue glass wall in Berlin has been unveiled to commemorate the systematic murder of up to 300,000 mentally ill and disabled people under Adolf Hitler. READ  

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees
Migrants aboard an Italian navy patrol vessel in April 2014. Photo: DPA

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière on Tuesday pledged support for his Italian colleague in the struggle to manage refugees trying to reach the European Union via its southern coast. READ  

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week
Elephant Nelly takes part in the ice bucket challenge in a Lower Saxony safari park. Photo: DPA

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week

The coffers of the German Society for Muscular Disease (DGM) are overflowing with donations thanks to the viral craze for videos of donors dousing themselves with ice-cold water. READ  

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict
The GRIAT will open in the Russian city of Kazan. Photo: Shutterstock

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is pressing ahead with its German-Russian Institute of Advanced Technologies (GRIAT) against a backdrop of international tensions over Ukraine. READ  

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw
Photo: DPA

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw

Bastian Schweinsteiger will replace fellow Bayern Munich player Philipp Lahm as captain of the German national football team, head trainer Joachim Löw said on Tuesday. READ  

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'
Christine Haderthauer at her resignation press conference in Munich on Monday. Photo: DPA

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'

Christine Haderthauer, head of the Bavarian state chancery, resigned “with immediate effect” on Monday evening over the so-called “model car scandal” in which her company sold scale models built by a man convicted of three sexual murders. READ  

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck
President Gauck stands shoulder to shoulder with President Komorowski of Poland in Gdansk on Monday. Photo: DPA

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck

Russia has "effectively severed its partnership" with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,439
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd