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Greece

Mitsotakis Breaks With Hungary’s Premier for Taking Rule by Decree

April 4, 2020

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis joined 11 other national leaders of the European People’s Party in asking its president, Poland’s Donald Tusk, to eject Hungary’s Premier Viktor Orban, who took control and is ruling by decree, essentially ending that country’s democracy as he consolides near-dictatorial power.

The European Union, in a vague blanket statement urging support for the rule of law, did not name Hungary nor Orban by name, drawing withering criticism for being timid and afraid to denounce him.

That had been signed by Mitsotakis, leader of Greece’s center-right New Democracy that’s in the EPP before he moved toward wanting Orban booted after the international ridicule for the EU’s reluctance to act.

Orban’s Fidesz party is in the EPP but is essentially irrelevant as he has taken near complete control of the government, including suspending elections and moving toward complete muzzling of the press, as the EU watched.

Orban said ruling by decree was necessary during the COVID-19 Coronavirus although no other EU country has done so, leading to international media condemning the act as the “death of democracy” and move toward dictatorship.

The move, the signatories said, is “a clear violation of the founding principles of liberal democracy and European values,” but they didn’t go as far as asking for Hungary to be forced out of the EU.

In Greece’s Parliament , Mitsotakis stressed the importance of parliamentary democracy and hit out at Orban for his “authoritarian restrictions,” but stopped right there.

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