EU parliament to debate possible sanctions against Hungary

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Parliament is set to debate a move toward imposing political sanctions on Hungary for policies that opponents say are against democratic EU values and the rule of law.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who will speak at Tuesday's debate in Strasbourg, France, says the initiative is really meant to punish Hungary for its tough anti-immigration stance.

A vote on the proposal to launch the rule-of-law procedure, taking place Wednesday, could even lead to Hungary losing its EU voting rights.

For years, Orban has successfully deflected criticism about Hungary's electoral system, press freedoms, independence of the judiciary and limitations on the functioning of non-governmental organizations, but criticism has been growing even within the European People's Party, to which his Fidesz party belongs.