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Hungary gives government power to spend without parliamentary oversight

Hungarian lawmakers have passed a bill that gives Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government free rein to spend without parliamentary approval. The law adds to worries over the unraveling of democracy in the EU member.

A majority of lawmakers approved the bill that includes an amendment allowing Orban's government to make budget decisions by decree, without parliamentary approval.

The government will also not be required to identify where funds will come from in order to fund the decree.

Before, the government could only spend money in addition to that allocated by the budget by seeking parliamentary approval and identifying the source of funds.

The vote is considered another blow to checks and balances in Hungary, where the prime minister has

strengthen his grip

over the media and

state institutions

in the EU member state.

Critics of the new bill argue it decreases transparency and the power of parliament over the budget.

cw/jr (AFP, dpa)

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