Daily Archives: January 18, 2012

Viktor Orban, Hungarian prime minister. AFP/Getty Images

Viktor Orban, Hungarian prime minister. AFP/Getty Images

Welcome to our live coverage of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban’s appearance before the European parliament, where he intends to defend his government’s recent actions against accusations they are anti-democratic. All times are GMT.

The Brussels Blog’s Peter Spiegel in Brussels and Stanley Pignal in the parliament’s second home in Strasbourg will be anchoring coverage, with contributions from other FT reporters who write about central and eastern Europe. Read more

Hungary's Viktor Orban during his address in Strasbourg last year. Brussels Blog will be live blogging his appearance on Wednesday .

Viktor Orban, Hungary’s combative prime minister, already had a lengthy list of Brussels’ critiques to rebut during an address today at the European parliament in Strasbourg, which the Brussels Blog is planning to live blog when it begins at 3pm local time.

Expectations are high after last year’s rowdy appearance, and the list of particulars has only grown in the last 24 hours: the European commission, the European Union’s executive arm, on Tuesday declared three new Hungarian laws in violation of the EU treaties, and warned that one may threaten the independence of the country’s central bank.

Just this morning, however, the commission added to the list again, hitting out at Orban – who prides himself on ridding his country from Soviet communism – for failing to respect “media freedom and media pluralism”, the same criticism he faced in Strasbourg a year ago. Read more