Politics & Foreign Relations

   Economic News

   Business News

   Other News of Interest

   All stories

14th September, 2017

Orban promises National Consultation on “Soros Plan”

Here will be a “national consultation” on the “Soros Plan” Prime Minister Viktor Orban told Wednesday night’s meeting of governing-party MPs in Velence.

The “Soros Plan” – Fidesz’s term for proposals to create a permanent mechanism to assess asylum-seekers and distribute successful applicants among EU countries – was a major theme of his speech, Fidesz-linked website Origo reports.

The message of the European Court of Justice ruling in favour of the EU’s refugee relocation system is that the Soros Plan is the real threat, Orban said.

The EU will try to implement Soros’s will, but this can be prevented in the spring election, he said, adding “If people stand by us, if we win a third time, Brussels can not defeat us, the Soros plan will fail”.

He said the most important thing today is the fight against the Soros plan, because “in Brussels they want to speed up the adoption of a permanent immigration mechanism. That is why there will be a national consultation on the Soros Plan.”

A “national consultation” is the exercise in which the government sends out questionnaires apparently designed to elicit certain responses from households, as a means of building support for its objectives.

The most recent such exercise was the “Let’s Stop Brussels” campaign in the spring.

Orban also told the gathering that the domestic opposition does not rule itself, but is moved by external forces. (origo.hu; 444.hu; mno.hu; inforadio.hu; index.hu)
14th September, 2017

Opposition getting ready for campaign

Opposition party caucuses will hold meetings this weekend to prepare for the start of Parliament’s autumn session on September 18 and the election campaign.

Socialist MPs are meeting for two days in Hajduszoboszlo, Jobbik is gathering in Siofok and LMP in Zalaegerszeg from Friday.

The Socialists will focus on expected autumn legislation and on defining which topics to emphasise.

They will be joined later by the party executive, as well as party president Gyula Molnar and prime ministerial candidate Laszlo Botka, who are not MPs.

Jobbik is starting its three-day meeting with an analysis of the political situation by party president Gabor Vona.

The party is expected to concentrate on preparing for the elections and promoting a unified EU wage initiative.

The LMP caucus will meet in Zalaegerszeg on Friday and Saturday to work against dependence on Russia and the expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant, as well as to prevent “the Putinisation” of Hungary. (inforadio.hu)
14th September, 2017

Botka strives for wider support

Socialist prime ministerial candidate Laszlo Botka will share a stage with politicians from the Dialogue and Together parties when he delivers a speech on Saturday, Nepszava reports.

In a bid to make common preparations, independent politicians, and representatives of unions and pensioners groups will also be given places alongside Botka.

The candidate told a background conversation on Wednesday that he can visualise co-operation with LMP but not with the Democratic Coalition, HVG reports.

Botka said the model spoken of by Democratic Coalition president Ferenc Gyurcsany is not possible, whereby the parties should field common candidates in individual constituencies but separate lists.

That idea is unworkable, he said, because anyone who runs as a joint candidate may only appear on a joint party list but not on separate party lists.

In any case, Botka continued, it is only worth concluding an agreement with a party that will bring votes rather than one that will share votes from an existing base. LMP could be such a party for the Socialists, he added.

Former ambassador Istvan Szent-Ivanyi, head of foreign policy for the Liberal Party, is writing an election platform for the Socialist Party for 2018.

Botka will not form a shadow cabinet – as he himself has said in a recent background conversation – but he would like to work out a feasible government platform with the most qualified experts and make it unequivocal that he is preparing for next year’s elections with the broadest possible co-operation.

Botka has also stressed that nationwide co-operation is about to take shape with several political forces, and that the door is still open to “democratic parties” and NGOs. (nepszava.hu; hvg.hu; klubradio.hu; zoom.hu; magyaridok.hu; origo.hu)
14th September, 2017

Gyurcsany talks of pre-2010 kickbacks

Democratic Coalition president Ferenc Gyurcsany told a local forum in Dunaujvaros Tuesday evening that 20% of funds earmarked for government investment projects before 2010 had to be paid as kickbacks.

He said that was the peak of political corruption at the time.

In response yesterday, Fidesz spokesman Imre Puskas asked how much Gyurcsany knows about those corruption cases and who requested 20% from the investment projects during his time as prime minister.

Gyurcsany wrote in reply on Facebook “Lajos Kosa [mayor of Debrecen at the time] was known in the Debrecen area as ‘Mr 20%’, as that much of every investment project had to be given back into his pocket, people there said”.

Since then, Gyurcsany said, Fidesz has been continuing legal theft at government level.

On other matters, Gyurcsany said life has confined the democratic opposition in a large condominium where one has to tolerate the other, and the other parties must realise that.

Failure by the opposition to reach agreement in all 106 individual constituencies would only benefit Fidesz, he warned.

Gyurcsany affirmed that his party has ”no plans whatever” to make a deal with Jobbik, because that party’s world view and outlook cannot be reconciled with those of the “democratic parties”. (24.hu; echotv.hu; origo.hu; index.hu; magyaridok.hu; magyarhirlap.hu; hirado.hu)
14th September, 2017

Kuria approves Hortobagy land deals

The Kuria has upheld a Debrecen Appeals Court ruling that controversial land lease contracts signed by the state-owned Hortobagy National Park were in line with the law, the park announced on Wednesday.

In December 2014, local farmers that had not won contracts to lease land from the park sued to have four lease contracts annulled.

Some 300-400 hectares were leased to persons who took up residence in ruined buildings where normal living is not feasible, in order to overcome the requirement that only local farmers could bid for lease contracts, Nepszava writes.

Annual subsidies for leased land may reach Ft 200,000 per hectare.

Index notes that a report by the government control office KEHI found that four employees had evaluated 1,600 bids over 60 days – that is, they spent on average 18 minutes on each bid.

Bids with formal errors were accepted as well, the KEHI found, and data provided in bids were not verified.

Companies founded only after their bids were filed also won contracts. Some bidders rented livestock just before putting in bids in order to present themselves as farmers, the report established.

The Kuria ruling, issued on September 5, is final. (nepszava.hu; index.hu; hvg.hu; magyarhirlap.hu; magyaridok.hu)
14th September, 2017

Juncker: every member state must carry out ECJ rulings

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker spoke of establishing a more united and democratic union in his annual State of the Union speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

In his speech Juncker stressed in part that the rule of law means that law is upheld by an independent judiciary and that everyone must respect decisions made by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

He said failure to do so would be a breach of fundamental human rights.

“Anyone who is not ready to compromise is not capable of democracy and is not Europe-capable,” he declared.

Juncker added that the EU is not a state but it is governed by the rule of law.

Europe is the continent of solidarity that admits persecuted people and remains so, but illegal immigration must be stopped and migration should be regulated, he said.

Juncker observed that the defence of the external borders is much more effective than earlier and the number of illegal arrivals in Europe has dropped considerably, but member states located on the outer borders of the EU cannot carry the responsibility of border defence alone. (atv.hu; klubradio.hu; origo.hu; nepszava.hu; magyarhirlap.hu; zoom.hu)
14th September, 2017

Szijjarto calls quota system a fiasco

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto called the EU quota programme aimed at the relocation of refugees a fiasco and a dead end street, in comments to the Financial Times on Wednesday.

He said Hungary has been saying for two years that the mandatory quota system cannot be observed, is dangerous and is against common sense.

In connection with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s comment that Hungary must respect the European Court of Justice ruling on refugees, Szijjarto said the Hungarian cabinet takes Merkel’s statement and the ruling seriously, but the court decision has not imposed a legal obligation on Hungary.

The court has said only that the decision to set up a mechanism for hosting asylum seekers was legitimate, so there will be a new legal dispute over the content of the ruling, he said.

Szijjarto affirmed that “Hungary’s place is in the EU and nobody can question that”.

Regarding the Ukrainian education bill, he said Hungary is deploying all of its diplomatic resources in international organisations against the aims of the Ukrainian government, as for Hungary the curbing of ethnic minority rights is outrageous.

In an interview with Reuters news agency, Szijjarto alleged that there have been attempts to disrupt the unity of the Visegrad Four but the group remains determined to reject the migrant quotas.

The suggestion that Hungary or Poland are becoming isolated in the EU or that Slovakia and the Czech Republic are moving away from them in the V4 group is unfounded, he said.

Szijjarto stressed that Hungary will not give up one iota of its sovereignty for the benefit of the EU.

He added, however, that Hungary supports the common position in military defence as a common European armed force could make the member states stronger and would benefit the whole community. (klubradio.hu; hirado.hu; ft.com; mfor.hu; magyarhirlap.hu; magyaridok.hu; 444.hu; 24.hu)
14th September, 2017

Tajani sends message to Orban

“The migration crisis is not a problem for one member state” and no single country or group of some countries can solve it, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said in an interview with the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Asked to comment on Hungary’s refusal to accept the European Court of Justice decision on the relocation of refugees, the conservative Italian politician said the European Parliament had taken a strong stand in favour of bringing Hungary before a court for denying its obligations.

“All former Communist EU member countries must be aware that solidarity is not a one-way street,” he added.

The EU has done much to help those countries to overcome the political and economic consequences of Communism and “to this day they receive lots of money” from the EU structural funds. ”Now they must also show solidarity,” he added.

Asked whether he can reach with his arguments Prime Minister Viktor Orban – who is also affiliated with the European People’s Party – Tajani said work aimed at persuasion must continue “which means we must talk, talk, talk”. The People’s Party “is holding intensive talks about these questions with Orban as well.” (atv.hu; 24.hu; hvg.hu; zoom.hu; magyarhirlap.hu)
14th September, 2017

All Hungarians rescued from St. Martin

All nine Hungarians and one Slovene citizen have been rescued from the Caribbean island of St. Martin, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto announced on Wednesday.

A five-member Hungarian family, a Hungarian woman and a Slovene got on board a plane rented by the Hungarian cabinet, at 9 p.m. Tuesday local time and arrived in Curacao before midnight.

The Hungarians are staying with the honorary consul. The honorary consulate is helping with their return home.

Three other Hungarians were earlier taken off the island at their own request following the devastation of Hurricane Irma. (origo.hu; 24.hu; mno.hu; hirtv.hu; magyarhirlap.hu; zoom.hu)

Contact Free Trial Subscription