Hexit? EU and Hungary Battle over European Corona Crisis Pandemic

  • Hungary looks more like the next potential Grexit or Brexit amid the coronavirus crisis.
  • European leaders see existential threat to the Union from divided national responses to coronacrisis.
  • Hungary’s PM seizes full dictatorial power on indefinite timeline due to coronavirus threat.

Former European Commission chief Jacques Delors said on March 28 that a lack of European solidarity, particularly with respect to the EU and Hungary over the coronavirus crisis, presented “a mortal danger” to the bloc.

As reported by France 24, Delors said coronavirus threatens the EU’s existence as gravely as Grexit or Brexit:

The European Union has faced and survived a series of existential threats over the years but the coronavirus epidemic has exposed old wounds that could yet prove fatal.

The threat arises, according to the Financial Times, because the EU lacks total control over public health issues where EU law permits more power to national governments.

Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán. | Image:  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

EU and Hungary fracture deeply over ‘power grab’

The latest division between the EU and Hungary opened when Hungary moved independently to seize autocratic control over the coronacrisis within its borders. The power grab came via a bill that empowers Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to imprison people for spreading false information about coronavirus.

Opponents see the bill as having the potential to censor journalism and claim it is a threat to ‘democracy and fundamental rights.’

The International Federation for Human Rights argued on April 4 that the “EU Must React Swiftly to Latest Blow to Democracy Amidst Pandemic:

FIDH is appalled by the recent adoption by the Hungarian government of an emergency law allegedly aimed at … a better response to the health crisis, but which seriously threatens the fundamental tenets of democracy, in a country where these are already weakened by a decade-long attack at the hands of the…

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