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Author: Daily News

Hungarian government to spend 325 million euros on developing kindergartens, creches

Budapest (MTI) – The government has allocated 100 billion forints (EUR 325m) to develop and expand kindergartens and creches during the 2014-2020 EU funding period, state secretary for family, youth and international affairs Katalin Novák said on Saturday. The plan is to increase the capacity of creches by 33 percent to 60,000 by the year 2020, Novák told a press conference. Free meals will be made available to 90 percent of the children in creches and kindergartens, she added. Different types of creches will be operated from 2017 and staff will receive higher wages and opportunities to pursue studies...

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Olympic bronze medalist Boglárka Kapás: Unbroken success

According to offical page of FINA-Budapest2017, for the 23-year-old, Hungarian swimming star 2016 was the best year in her career. She won the bronze medal at the Rio Olympic Games and before this she won four gold medals at the European Championships. Her goal for the World Championships in Budapest is to get closer to the unbeatable, American Katie Ledecky and exceed her last year’s performance in Kazan, where she reached the third place. Ideally three silver medals are the realistic expectation for her. Fort the young star, Hungary’s first youth Olympic champion (Singapore, 2010) the number five the...

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Bus crash tragedy in Italy – Sixteen Hungarians were killed in Verona – UPDATE

Budapest, January 21 (MTI) – Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has declared Monday a national day of mourning for those Hungarians who died in a bus accident in Italy overnight Friday, the head of the PM’s press office told MTI on Saturday. Sixteen Hungarians were killed when a bus transporting students and teachers of the Szinyei Merse Pál Secondary School in Budapest, as well as family members, hit the pillar of an overpass on the Venice-Verona motorway and caught fire just before midnight. The group was returning from a ski trip. Orbán earlier said his prayers were with the families...

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Bosnia-Herzegovina’s EU integration of strategic importance for Hungary

Sarajevo (MTI) – The European Union integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina is among the Hungarian government’s “key strategic goals”, Szabolcs Takács, secretary for EU affairs, said on Friday. Hungary stands among EU members committed to keeping the bloc’s enlargement on the agenda, he told MTI by phone from Sarajevo, arguing that the best way to ease political tension in the western Balkans was to press ahead with the enlargement process. Takacs voiced hope that Bosnia and Herzegovina would be granted an associate member status by year-end. He insisted that “integration is the only way” to maintain peace and stability...

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Budapest mayor: Fine for metro 4 fraud could be lower than first projected

Budapest (MTI) – The fine Hungary is expected to receive from the European Commission for irregularities uncovered by Europe’s anti-fraud office OLAF in connection with Budapest’s fourth metro construction project could be lower than originally projected, Budapest’s mayor said on Friday. The 76.6 billion forints (EUR 250m) initially projected by the government is “an extreme”, and is unlikely to be the actual fine, István Tarlós told a press conference. The fine will likely end up being “more like 59 billion”, he added.   The government has the full support of the capital and is prepared to assist in “any...

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WWI, WWII memorials unveiled in Esztergom

Esztergom (MTI) – Two memorials commemorating WWI and WWII victims were unveiled at the site of a former cemetery in Esztergom, in northern Hungary, on Friday. The WWI memorial, a statue depicting the Angel of Peace, is dedicated to the about 3,500 Italian, Romanian, Russian and Serbian prisoners of war who died in a camp set up just outside the city between 1914 and 1918. Mikhail Lavrenenko, president of the Russian foundation for peace that donated the statue to Esztergom, said that the memorial would be instrumental “in saying no in today’s world to any military conflict no matter...

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Socialists protest delay in Metro 3 refurbishment, Olympic plans

Budapest (MTI) – Speakers in a protest organised by the opposition Socialists criticised the management of Budapest for delays in the refurbishment of the city’s third metro line, the transfer of municipal assets to the state, and Budapest’s 2024 Olympic bid, on Friday. Ágnes Kunhalmi, the party’s Budapest leader, said that not only the metro but schools and hospitals were also in a bad state. She added that “Fidesz keeps pointing backwards” and blames the previous governments while they have been in power for seven years. Kunhalmi insisted that users of Budapest’s public transport – some 500,000 people each...

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Hungarian city gets UNESCO award

Pécs (MTI) – Pécs is the first Hungarian city to have won UNESCO’s Global Learning City Award this year, the local council and Pécs University said on Friday. UNESCO has granted the award to the south Hungarian city along with other 15 cities in recognition of their outstanding and tangible efforts in “promoting access to education and lifelong learning,” they said in a joint statement. “Pécs has initiated a forum to serve as a platform for experts and stakeholders to further learning city development,” they quoted UNESCO’s release as saying. The award will be presented during the 3rd International...

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Orbán congratulates Trump on inauguration as new US president

Budapest (MTI) – Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Friday sent a letter congratulating Donald Trump on his inauguration as the new president of the United States. “Your historic election victory gives you a strong mandate from the American people to bring about change,” he said. The prime minister said that the world faces enormous challenges, which require a new and brave approach. “Our ever-growing economic ties; long-standing cooperation in areas, such as the fight against terrorism; our similar visions on economic and security policies, on the responsibility for the safety of our own citizens, and on border control and...

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Hungarian parties comment on Trump’s inauguration

Budapest (MTI) – The opposition LMP party on Friday said that “political earthquakes” such as the inauguration of Donald Trump as the president of the United States would always challenge citizens to make a choice. “People should either choose to favour the elite’s fight disguised as anti-elite efforts or support advocates of an ideology promoting fundamental changes in politics and the economy,” the party’s co-chair said in a statement. Bernadett Szél said it is in everybody’s interest that in Hungary that latter should ensue. Trump ‘heralds new era’, says Fidesz The inauguration of Donald Trump as US president “heralds...

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LMP warns of environmental impacts of Budapest Olympics

Budapest, January 20 (MTI) – The cost of addressing environmental harm caused by the 2024 Budapest Olympics, if the event goes ahead, could add 1,000 billion forints (EUR 3.2bn) to the final tab of hosting the Games, opposition LMP deputy Benedek R. Sallai told a press conference on Friday. Sallai, head of parliament’s sustainable development committee, insisted that the environmental impact of the Budapest games and the cost of eliminating the infrastructure no longer needed after the event had not been considered so far. The cost to the environment is normally measured as a proportion of the infrastructure costs,...

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Trump celebrated, Democrats Abroad say goodbye to Obama in Budapest

Budapest, January 20 (MTI) – Hundreds of people gathered at Ronald Reagan’s statue near the US embassy on Budapest’s Szabadság Square to applaud Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, upon his inauguration on Friday. Zsolt Bayer, a journalist, said that outgoing president Barack Obama “had practically failed to realise any of his plans”. Over the past few years America has become “more divided, more aggressive and more liberal”, he said, citing news portal index.hu. He added that the spread of liberalism was demonstrated, for instance, by growing acceptance of drug use, same-sex-marriage and abortion. Trump should...

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Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem thanks Hungary for donation

Budapest, January 20 (MTI) – Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem has sent a letter of thanks to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Hungary for support given to renovate Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Bertalan Havasi, the PM’s press chief, said in a statement on Friday. In 2016, the Hungarian government decided to set aside 31.5 million forints (EUR 102,000) for the purpose, with a view to strengthening ties between Hungary and Christians of the Holy Land. The patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church wrote in his letter: “Hungary’s unwavering commitment to the mission of the Patriarchate, and especially...

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Hungary against automatic renewal of Russia sanctions

Berlin, January 20 (MTI) – Hungary continues to stand in opposition to the automatic extension of sanctions against Russia, the government commissioner for Russia sanctions said after meeting his German counterpart, Gernot Erler, on Friday. Gyula Budai said that Hungary remains committed to European unity on the issue in spite of its position on automatic renewal, but it urges a debate on the matter. Hungary disagrees in principle with the policy of sanctions because “it is not possible to resolve a political crisis with economic punitive action,” the government commissioner said. “All member states should be given the opportunity...

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Orbán’s cabinet: Socialist-Liberal city leaders bear responsibility for metro 4 scandal

Budapest, January 20 (MTI) – It is clear that the previous Socialist-Liberal leadership of Budapest’s municipal council bear political responsibility for the corruption scandal surrounding the construction of the city’s fourth metro line, the government spokesman told public radio on Friday. Zoltán Kovács said it was “absolutely clear” that the city leadership at the time, the then national government and international companies had conspired together in a crime, and all elements of the case must be explored. “But this is not the job of the government,” he insisted. Due to the half a dozen or so crimes and regulation...

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Hungary universities sign dual training pact

Budapest, January 20 (MTI) – Four Hungarian universities on Friday signed a dual training agreement allowing food industry engineering and mechanical engineering students to gain work experience. Students studying at Szent István University, Pannon University, Óbuda University and the University of Szeged will gain work experience at Coca-Cola Hungary starting in September. Farm ministry state secretary István Nagy said at the signing ceremony that the government is aiming to use the dual training scheme to boost the practical aspects of higher education so that Hungary can train professionals capable of meeting the challenges and needs of today’s economy. István...

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Hungary gross wages climb, 200,000 Hungarians in fostered work

Budapest, January 20 (MTI) – The average gross wage in Hungary rose by an annual 8.2 percent to 285,800 forints (EUR 926 ) in November, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Friday. Net wage growth outpaced the increase, climbing 9.8 percent to 190,000 forints (EUR 616) due to a one percentage point cut in the personal income tax rate from January 2016. KSH noted that wages have been boosted last year by a higher minimum wage as well as pay increases for the armed forces and wage top-ups for social services and healthcare workers. Related article: LABOUR SHORTAGE...

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Berlin’s Green Week has opened with Hungary as a guest of honour

Berlin, January 20 (MTI) – The world’s biggest farm and food expo, Berlin’s Internationale Gruene Woche (IGW), has opened with Hungary as guest of honour, and farm minister Sándor Fazekas was on hand on Friday to unveil the country’s 1,700 metre stand presenting 33 exhibitors of high-quality, GMO-free produce. Fazekas was joined by his German counterpart Christian Schmidt and Berlin’s mayor Michael Muller. Fazekas told an international press briefing that the Hungarian producers exhibiting at the event counted on new business opportunities. Germany, he noted, is Hungary’s biggest market for farm produce and food, and last year’s estimated exports...

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State to compensate inmates for poor prison conditions

Budapest, January 20 (MTI) – Prison inmates who have filed petitions against poor prison conditions are set to receive financial compensation from the state, the daily Népszava said on Friday, citing the National Command of Law Enforcement. Under a law that entered into force on Jan. 1, inmates who have filed petitions can receive a monthly average of 40,000 forints (EUR 130) in compensation, as it can be expected that the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will order the Hungarian state to compensate inmates for the sub-standard prison conditions. Prison wardens have 15 days to assess petitions...

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