Change would tax Hungarian twice for EU violations

April 18, 2013 at 1:39 PM
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BRUSSELS, April 18 (UPI) -- Hungary will penalize its citizens twice to pay for any fines incurred when the government breaks European Union laws, says an EU official.

It would pay EU fines by taxing Hungarian citizens, the EUObserver reported Wednesday.

Detailing the Hungarian decision, EU justice Commissioner of Justice Vivian Reding said that "in practice, citizens would be penalized twice: once for not having had their rights under EU law upheld and a second time for having to pay for this."

The "ad hoc" tax was introduced in March in Hungary's fourth constitutional reform in the last 15 months. Hungary has denied charges the changes undermine the rule of law by limiting the power of the constitutional court.

A commission comprised of former judges in the Council of Europe, and the European Parliament, want Hungary to make several changes in its constitution, including the ad hoc tax.

The groups are also pushing for repeal of rules that let the head of a judicial administrative body decide where cases would be tried and the scrapping of limitations on political advertisements during election cycles.

Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orban, said in an April 12 letter to commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso that his government would review the two issues but did not comment on the tax.

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