Tweets of the Week: Hungary Debate, Summer Holidays, Brexit Talks

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.

 

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

 

Anna Júlia Donáth explained: “In the past 2 days, police arrested 2 people for ironic or critical posts about the government on Facebook.”

 

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.

Orbán’s efforts to “combat the virus” are nothing more than efforts to combat opposition parties, journalists and civil society, said Birgit Sippel.

 

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”

 

The Commission wants three things

free movement

sanitary protocols

protection of travellers

 

That last point proved controversial: Airlines are furious and flabbergasted that the Commission refuses to suspend European law on passenger rights, tweeted Mark Duursma.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Now that’s what I call a mixed message (and I am being kind here) added Oliver Grimm.

 

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.”

 

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.

https://twitter.com/BrugesGroup/status/1260109416730439682

 

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.”

 

But they must decide whether or not to request an extension to the transition period before a decisive EU Council summit in June.

 

Surprisingly the UK’s Labour Opposition leader Kier Starmer has not supported an extension.

 

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 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!

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