EU demands Hungary to explain on Gruevski asylum status

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban needs to offer a “sound explanation” of his country's decision to grant political asylum to the former Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski, Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahh tweeted on Wednesday. Hahn tweeted that he had seen reports about the asylum granted in Hungary. “If confirmed, I expect a sound explanation of its grounds by @Viktor_Orban,” his tweet read.

Gruevski, who fled Macedonia after being sentenced to two years in prison on corruption-related charges, said last Tuesday that he had been granted political asylum in Hungary. Gruevski, who ran the country as a strongman for a decade before being forced out of office in 2016 after nationwide protests, also faces several more serious charges, some stemming from a vast scandal involving hundreds of thousands of secretly recorded conversations in which top government officials were heard discussing crimes like rigging votes and covering up killings.

European officials viewed his trial and conviction as a step forward in a region plagued by corruption and ethnic divisions. Macedonia was officially recognized as a candidate to join the EU in 2005, but has not started accession talks.

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