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Half a million Hungarians sign petition to join EU prosecutor’s office

More than 500,000 Hungarian citizens have signed a petition demanding that the country join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, a soon-to-be established investigative body of the European Union.

Former president of the Hungarian Greens (LMP) and currently independent MP Ákos Hadházy, who launched the petition last September, said that the campaign is aiming for one million signatures before European parliamentary elections on May 26.

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office, which will investigate corruption and fraud associated with EU funds, is expected to start operating in 2020.

The Hungarian government, which has faced numerous accusations regarding systemic corruption, rejected joining the institution. “By setting up the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, Brussels wants to take more power from member states. It does so in every area including migration and taxation,” said László Trócsányi, who tops the list of the ruling Fidesz party in the European elections.

A survey conducted by Hungarian pollster Publicus Institute in mid-March claims that 72 per cent of Hungarian citizens believe the country should join the prosecutor’s office, with even 62 per cent of Fidesz voters agreeing.

Aside from Hungary, Poland is the only EU member state in emerging Europe that has so far decided not to join the institution.