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EU concern over Hungary's new laws

The European Union has officially said it has "serious concerns" over constitutional changes in member state Hungary, which has faced accusations that democracy is under threat in the country.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso wrote in a letter to Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban today that a first legal analysis of the new policies added to the constitution raised questions over the rule of law in the country.

The constitutional additions passed last month include bans on political campaign ads on private television and radio, the possibility to fine or jail homeless for living on the street and a narrow definition of family - which earlier were found to be unconstitutional by Hungary's highest court.

Mr Barroso said the objections should be dealt with "in a determined and unambiguous way".

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