HUNGARIAN PRESIDENCY - A New Year means a new country at the head of the EU and the start of 2011 saw Hungary take charge of the bloc’s rotating presidency.
The takeover was greeted with a spectacular music and light show. Europe’s debt crisis, treaty change, the budget and the Roma migrant question are all expected to top the agenda in the coming months and Hungary has been keen to display it has what it takes. Earlier, Hungarian President Pal Schmitt addressed the nation.
But, not everyone is happy. Moves by Budapest to tighten controls on the media and seize private pension assets have angered several EU partners.
The UK, Germany and Luxembourg have all issued unusual public rebukes, with Luxembourg’s foreign minister openly questioning whether Hungary was ‘‘worthy of leading the bloc.” They have called on it to review the new media law. For the moment, however, Hungary’s government remains defiant.
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