AP NEWS

Hungary opposition gets 680,000 backers for anti-graft plan

June 5, 2019
Independent Hungarian National Assembly member Akos Hadhazy speaks during a press conference in the parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, June 5, 2019, after the Hungarian opposition parties have collected a total 680,000 signatures in support of getting Hungary to join the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO). In the background the signature sheets are displayed. (Noemi Bruzak/MTI via AP)
Independent Hungarian National Assembly member Akos Hadhazy speaks during a press conference in the parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, June 5, 2019, after the Hungarian opposition parties have collected a total 680,000 signatures in support of getting Hungary to join the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO). In the background the signature sheets are displayed. (Noemi Bruzak/MTI via AP)

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — A Hungarian politician says 680,000 people have signed an appeal pressuring the government into joining a fledgling European anti-corruption body.

Independent lawmaker Akos Hadhazy said Wednesday that joining the European Public Prosecutor’s Office would help boost efforts to stop the misuse of EU funds in Hungary.

Hadhazy said the signatures represented “the will and exasperation of 680,000 angry people” against “the uncontrolled theft of EU funds.”

So far, 22 of 28 EU members have joined the office, expected to become operational in late 2020.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government has cited the sovereignty of Hungarian prosecutors as a reason for not joining up.

Hadhazy said boxes full of signatures would be presented to Justice Minister Laszlo Trocsanyi and then destroyed in compliance with data protection laws.