Viktor Orban insists his new powers will help the country fight the spread of coronavirus [Bernadett Szabo/File Photo/Reuters]

The European Union warned Hungary on Tuesday that emergency measures adopted by its nationalist government to fight the coronavirus crisis must not undercut democracy.

Hungary’s parliament on Monday granted Prime Minister Viktor Orban an open-ended right to rule by decree and introduced jail sentences for anyone hindering measures to curb the spread of the virus or spreading false information about the pandemic.


“It is of utmost importance that emergency measures are not at the expense of our fundamental principles and values … democracy cannot work without free and independent media,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

“Any emergency measures must be limited

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