Hungary says did not 'give in' to EU
(VIENNA) - Hungary's top government spokesman was defiant Thursday in the face of legal action by the European Union, insisting Budapest had not given in to EU demands.
Although Prime Minister Viktor Orban said last week he would modify disputed laws that have angered Brussels and raised concerns about the state of democracy in Hungary, Zoltan Kovacs insisted that Orban had not "given in".
"It's a discussion and at the end there is a compromise," the government spokesman told journalists in Vienna.
The European Commission launched legal action against Hungary last week over contested reforms of its judiciary, central bank and data protection authority.
Orban also met Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso on Tuesday to seek an end to the legal row.
Noting Barroso's vow last week to "use all our powers" to ensure Hungary complied with EU rules, Kovacs described the dispute as a "power game."
Hungary wanted to "steer (the debate) back to the legal arguments" and "solve it in a European way," he insisted.
Kovacs also took aim at supporters of an opposition Hungarian radio station that is being taken off the air, saying they were acting "against the law".
Hungary's powerful media authority, stacked with allies of Orban's Fidesz party, pulled Klubradio's frequency in December and assigned it to an almost unknown station, although according to Kovacs the tender decision was entirely "transparent."
On Sunday, around 10,000 people demonstrated in the Hungarian capital in support of Klubradio, carrying placards saying "Down with censorship."
Kovacs also brushed aside a December ruling by Hungary's constitutional court which declared parts of a much-criticised media law as unconstitutional.
The court "did not attack the spirit of the media law," Kovacs maintained.
The ruling had attacked provisions that required journalists to reveal their sources and thrown out rules that forced online and printed media to provide "balanced coverage".
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