Following talks with the EU Commission, Hungary's government on Monday caved into Europe-wide pressure by agreeing to change a recent media law that restricts freedom of the press.
Critics say the new law amounts to censorship
Hungary has agreed to present the EU Commission with changes to its controversial media law by Thursday, after talks with representatives of the EU Commission.
The law, which critics say goes too far in regulating media content, came into effect on January 1, coinciding with the start of Hungary's EU presidency. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was harshly criticized for muzzling the press, and the EU launched an inquiry on January 21, giving Hungary two weeks to respond.
Hungary on Monday agreed to send "a first draft of possible amendments to the media law," according to a Commission spokesman.
Orban remains defiant
Hungary's EU presidency has been tainted by Orban's defiance
Despite caving into pressure from the EU, Orban maintains that the flak he received from the European Parliament was an "insult." He specifically hit out at German MEP Martin Schulz, who said Hungary was becoming a dictatorship.
"Wow, that coming from a German," Orban said at a news conference.
The EU inquiry focuses on possible breaches of the Hungarian law on balanced information, saying its "extensive requirements for media registration…seem disproportionate."
Hungary has also been slammed for creating a media authority that could force journalists to reveal their sources, regulate media content and impose fines of up to 735,000 euros ($1 million). But the authority's role is not part of the EU inquiry.
The introduction of the controversial law caused thousands of protesters to take to the streets in Hungary, and journalists held minutes of silence on some radio programs to show their disapproval.
Author: Nicole Goebel (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Sarah Harman
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been living in Russia for nearly one year. Now German Justice Minister Heiko Maas has suggested he go back to the US, sparking outrage among left-wing politicians.
Ratings agency Moody's has slashed the credit rating of Germany's biggest lender. It said it wasn't convinced Deutsche Bank would return to higher profits, as expressed in the bank's latest earnings report.
Swiss banking giant UBS has agreed to pay Germany a hefty fine for its involvement in helping German clients hide money from tax authorities. It's the biggest fine ever paid to the country by a Swiss lender.
World-renowned German artist Gregor Schneider has covered a synagogue near Cologne with the façade of a drab suburban house. But by hiding it, he challenges visitors to look more closely at history and memory.