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Orbán says parliament must decide whether to join new EU agreement

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in Brussels on Friday that Hungary’s parliament must decide whether Hungary should join the European Union’s early Friday agreement to impose stricter budgetary rules on euro-zone member states, because the issue of whether or not to do so affects national sovereignty.

Mr Orban said after arriving to Brussels on the second day of the European Union’s debt summit that his authority as prime minister of Hungary does not extend to relinquishing any of country’s sovereignty. It is up to parliament to make decisions in this regard, he said.

The prime minister noted that as a decision must be made until March, parliament has ample time to make its decision.

Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council and chairman of the summit announced Friday morning that 17 eurozone countries and at least another six countries agreed on a treaty that would pursue tighter integration with stricter budget rules.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy said Hungary among the four countries that do not participate in drawing up a new inter-government treaty on which 23 of the 27 leaders at an EU summit in Brussels.

The other countries outside the agreement for the moment are the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Sweden.