Supported by the two-thirds majority enjoyed by his party, Fidesz, in the Hungarian parliament, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán pushed through on March 11 a fourth amendment to the constitution, which had been drafted in 2011.

The provisions adopted on March 11, notes the Financial Times,

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put limits on the powers of Hungary’s constitutional court and restore some elements of a controversial fundamental law adopted in January 2012 that had since been dropped under European pressure.

In Munich, the Süddeutsche Zeitung condemns a "blow to the heart of the rule of law" by the Hungarian government. The newspaper believes that

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Populist Viktor Orbán is juggling several roles. His favourite is that of saviour of the nation who has freed Hungary from communism, restored the old values and is defending the glory of Hungary.[...] At the beginning of his term he announced a second revolution, and it now seems that, in the wake of this constitutional reform, the Hungarian government will no longer be the same [...] After reminders from Brussels, Orbán is playing his second favourite role – that of the good democrat and avowed European, who understands the worries of his partners at these minor changes in his country. He then moves on to prepare the next blow, the one taking aim at the heart of the rule of law: the independence of the judiciary. The greatest danger to the nation comes from its greatest admirer.

The Portuguese daily Público, meanwhile, writes that the head of the Hungarian government

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who has done everything to protect his power against the "excesses" of democracy, received a warning by telephone from [European Commission President] José Manuel Durão Barroso of the dangers of doing just that. But he ignored the warning. [...] Does Hungary really want to stay in the EU and contradict its principles at the same time? The question must be asked in all seriousness, and it must have consequences.

Since the election of Orbán in 2010, Le Monde notes that "Brussels and Budapest have been playing cat and mouse. The difference is that the Hungarian mouse is rather quick and agile, while the European cat is maladroit and hesitant.” And today, "Europe has been hugely embarrassed” –

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Punishing the democratically elected government of one of its members is no easy thing. Brussels has little else left to wield but a “nuclear weapon” and suspend the voting rights of the Hungarian government. The memory of the Austrian precedent, though, is still raw. When the far-right party of Jörg Haider joined the government coalition in Vienna in 2000, the protests of the Europeans were so ineffective that in the end they had to throw up their hands. Brussels could also mull over financial sanctions against Budapest, seeing that Hungary needs this “structural” help. But this pressure, certainly more persuasive, is not on the table for the moment. [...] “Democracy is in trouble in Europe,” Viktor Orbán noted bluntly a year ago in these columns. Undeniably, he has helped it into even deeper trouble. Rather sad.