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Hungarian PM wants to join EU Parliament debate on Hungary

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(BUDAPEST) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is to defend his government in a European parliamentary debate on contentious measures seen curbing democratic values, said a spokesman.

"On Wednesday, the international left wants to launch yet another attack against Hungary, therefore Viktor Orban today turned to the chair of the European Parliament (EP) with the request to enable him to take the floor in the debate in Strasbourg," Orban's spokesman Peter Szijjarto said in a statement emailed late Monday.

"We will not allow the international left to accuse Hungary with lies and unfounded slander on the international stage," Szijjarto said.

Upon the initiative of the Green, Liberal and Socialist groups, the EP is set to discuss Hungary's recent legislation seen as curbing the independence of the central bank, data protection office and justice, tilting the election law to favour Orban's Fidesz party and muzzling the press.

The controversial laws were passed at the end of last year as part of Hungary's new constitution that has sparked the ire of the European Union, the United States and the International Monetary Fund.

The EU executive is expected to announce the launch of an infringement procedure in several of the contested issues on Tuesday.

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