Hungary: after the state of health emergency, the state of emergency due to war in Ukraine

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, during the presentation of the members of his new government to Parliament, in Budapest on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. AFP - ATTILA KISBENEDEK

Text by: RFI Follow

1 min

In Hungary, the state of emergency linked to the coronavirus pandemic was due to expire next Tuesday.

But since last night, a new state of emergency linked to the war in Ukraine has come into effect, just hours after the new government of Viktor Orbán, whose party was comfortably re-elected last April, took office.

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With our correspondent in Budapest,

Florence La Bruyère

With Viktor Orbán, things don't drag out.

This Tuesday, May 24, the ministers were sworn in and Parliament amended the Constitution to authorize a state of emergency linked to a war situation in a neighboring country.

In the process, the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency, which came into force the day at midnight.

From now on, the sovereignist right-wing leader will be able to continue to govern by decree for an indefinite period.

Hungary must face the challenges posed by the war in Ukraine, a security and economic challenge.

This is how Viktor Orbán justified the new state of emergency:

This war is a permanent threat to our security.

Hungary must stay out of this war and protect the financial security of its families.

So we need more leeway.

Full powers, why do it?

The Hungarian Prime Minister gave few details.

But he indicated that concrete measures would soon be announced:

The government will be able to react quickly to protect Hungarian families, as we did during the state of health emergency.

Probably to protect families from bad news.

During the pandemic, Viktor Orbán banned the independent press from reporting from hospitals.

So how long will this new state of emergency last?

The head of government gave no date.

He simply observed that no one knew when the war in Ukraine would end.

► Listen again: The triumph of Viktor Orban in Hungary

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