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Hungary poised to widen rift with west

The law is one of a package being rushed through before the end of the year that is prompting international concern about Hungary’s economic policies and a perceived erosion of democracy in this EU member state.
Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, wrote last week to Viktor Orban, prime minister, expressing concerns.

As well as the central bank law and a new flat tax rate that have been sharply criticised by the EU and the International Monetary Fund, other measures include reforms that critics warn will subject the judiciary to political interference and electoral changes that opponents say would entrench Mr Orban’s power for years to come.

“A number of constituencies have been reduced and redrawn in a way that, based on past voting patterns, clearly favours [Mr Orban’s centre-right party] Fidesz in future elections,” said Robert Laszlo, election specialist at Political Capital, a Budapest think-tank. Fidesz already enjoys a two-thirds majority in parliament.

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