Orban’s dictatorship makes MEPs mad, summer holidays would make everyone glad, and resumed Brexit talks are going pretty bad.
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Now on with the show:
On Thursday, MEPs held a debate after Hungary’s Viktor Orbán was given the right to rule by decree indefinitely.
— EUwatch (@EUwatchers) May 13, 2020
Since declaring dictatorship 6 weeks ago, Hungary has:
-Backed violence against women:
-Kicked patients out of hospitals:
-Attacked minorities and
-Detained critics, said Andrew Stroehlein from Human Rights Watch
Since declaring dictatorship 6 weeks ago, Hungary has:
-Backed violence against women: https://t.co/yVWK6X1zsZ
-Kicked patients out of hospitals: https://t.co/c0nuisThYm
-Attacked minorities: https://t.co/PsAPoig7XZ
— Andrew Stroehlein (@astroehlein) May 14, 2020
Anna Júlia Donáth explained: “In the past 2 days, police arrested 2 people for ironic or critical posts about the government on Facebook.”
In past 2 days, 🇭🇺 police arrested 2 ppl for ironic/critical posts on gvt's #COVIDー19 measures. They were later released but this shows how Orbán's law on "spreading misinformation" doesn't need to lead to condemnations to instill fear & self-censorship!https://t.co/UmxXS4ZaJH
— Anna Júlia Donáth (@donath_anna) May 13, 2020
Euronews’ Shona Murray said it was a “robust debate” in the European Parliament with many calling for a co-called #Article7 process.
Other MEPs want the EU to block recovery funds to Hungary unless #Orban reinstitutes democracy.
And several criticized the EPP group, the Commission and the Council for standing idle.
Other MEPs call for EU to block recovery funds to Hungary unless #Orban reinstitutes democracy.
Several criticize @EPP, Commission and Council for standing idle.
— Shona Murray (@ShonaMurray_) May 14, 2020
Orbán’s efforts to “combat the virus” are nothing more than efforts to combat opposition parties, journalists and civil society, said Birgit Sippel.
Orbán's efforts to "combat the virus" are nothing more than efforts to combat opposition parties, journalists and civil society
— S&D Group (@TheProgressives) May 14, 2020
Fighting authoritarianism is exhausting and frankly “We all need a break.”
The European Commission agrees unveiling its recommendations for the summer entitled “Europe needs a break”
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 9, 2020
The Commission wants three things
protection of travellers
L’été est une période attendue par tous, vacanciers ou professionnels du #tourisme 🕶🧳
Pour une reprise rapide mais en sécurité, la Commission 🇪🇺 présente ses recommandations:
— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) May 13, 2020
That last point proved controversial: Airlines are furious and flabbergasted that the Commission refuses to suspend European law on passenger rights, tweeted Mark Duursma.
"We are disappointed and astonished that the Commission has ignored the request from the majority of Member States"
— Mark Duursma (@markduursma) May 13, 2020
Commissioner Vestager explained why refunds are preferable to vouchers saying people who have lost their jobs and cannot go on holiday, could be forced to take a voucher they cannot use rather than getting their money back.
VP @Vestager explains why they've decided not to suspend EU passenger rights law requiring refunds for cancellations, as requested by airlines.
She says some people who have lost their jobs could lose their entire holiday budget if forced to take a voucher they cannot use.
— Dave Keating (@DaveKeating) May 13, 2020
But how the EU’s passenger rights law will be enforced during the current crisis is murky.
First, guilty parties were going to get a letter telling them to stick to EU law, then it’s all countries and a gentle reminder. While legal action against those that aren’t enforcing the rules remains an option, explained Sam Morgan.
🎫 #Vouchergate just gets better
First, guilty parties were going to get a letter telling them to stick to EU law, then it's all countries and a gentle reminder. Legal action against those that aren't enforcing the rules remains an optionhttps://t.co/mi7AZzb1f0
— Sam Morgan (@SamJamesMorgan) May 13, 2020
Now that’s what I call a mixed message (and I am being kind here) added Oliver Grimm.
Now that's what I call a mixed message (and I am being kind here): @AdinaValean just said all Member States will get letter reminding them of the state of EU law, and of the Commission's proposal to make vouchers more palatable for travellers.
— Oliver Grimm (@grimmse) May 13, 2020
Good luck getting your money back from Ryanair. Brian Maguire reckons
“Flights will cost €0.99 with a free mask priced at €325 one way.”
Flights will cost €0.99 with a free mask priced at €325 one way. https://t.co/YnqZ7yOeyi
— Brian Maguire (@BrianMaguireEU) May 12, 2020
Finally this week, I have to admit that the Bruges Group summed it up pretty well:
Brexit being obscured by another news story would once have been inconceivable.
But much is still happening and UK/EU trade talks resumed this week via video link.
But, how shall I put this? They are not…. Going well.
The EU side in particular is worried that the UK “can effectively blame Covid for everything.”
‘They can effectively blame Covid for everything’: What coronavirus means for Brexit talkshttps://t.co/6XZeQAnhJ5
— The Independent (@Independent) May 12, 2020
But they must decide whether or not to request an extension to the transition period before a decisive EU Council summit in June.
— Hogan Lovells Brexit (@HLBrexit) May 12, 2020
Surprisingly the UK’s Labour Opposition leader Kier Starmer has not supported an extension.
Looks like Kier won't help.
No deal Brexit here we come
— william Haggis #FBPD #FBPE (@william_haggis) May 11, 2020
Nick O’Donnell said:
“I think he must know what a lot of people suspect. The talks are dead, Brexit is happening, there will be no deal. The EU has no time for Brexit and no patience left. I can’t say I blame them.”
I think he must know what a lot of people suspect. The talks are dead, Brexit is happening, there will be no deal. The EU has no time for Brexit and no patience left. I can’t say I blame them.
— Nick O'Donnell (@gnickodonnell) May 12, 2020
I think you might be right Nick!
That’s it for this week. We’re on a well earned break next week, but join me again in 2 weeks for all the latest from the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere!