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EU Party Says Hungary's Orban To Modify Controversial Higher-Education Law

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (file photo)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has reportedly told leaders of the EU's largest political grouping that he will comply with Brussels' demands to change parts of a law that critics say attacks academic freedom.

Joseph Daul, the president of the European People's Party (EPP), said on April 29 that Orban had reassured the EPP that Hungary would "take all necessary steps to comply with the [European] Commission's request."

"Prime Minister Orban committed himself in the EPP council to follow and implement all the demands of the European Commission," EPP spokesman Siegfried Muresan said.

An Orban spokeswoman declined to say what Orban had said during the meeting of the EPP, whose members include German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Orban's Fidesz party.

On April 26, the EU Commission, the bloc's executive branch, gave Budapest one month to modify a higher-education law passed three weeks earlier that some say is aimed at closing the Central European University, which was founded by U.S. billionaire philanthropist George Soros, whom Orban has harshly criticized.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa