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Author: Adrienn Sain

Hungary fines half a million motorists for driving without vignette

Budapest, June 20 (MTI) – NUSZ, the company that operates Hungary’s motorway toll system, fined 516,000 motorists a total 4.5 billion forints (EUR 14.4m) for driving without a vignette last year, business daily Világgazdaság said on Monday. About two-thirds of the drivers were Hungarian and the rest were foreigners, NUSZ spokesman Lajos Kibédi-Varga told the paper. Around 3 percent of Hungarians on the motorway fail to purchase a vignette, while the ratio stands at 4 percent for foreigners, he added. NUSZ is able to collect from 75-80 percent of the Hungarian motorists it fines. About half of the foreigners...

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Vona: coalition with left-wing partners “fiction”

Budapest, June 20 (MTI) – Suggestions about the radical nationalist Jobbik party entering into a technical coalition with leftist parties to replace ruling Fidesz are “fiction, distorted figments of imagination”, Jobbik leader Gábor Vona told national daily Magyar Hírlap. Jobbik will not form a coalition of any kind with any other political party, he said in an interview published on Monday. Vona qualified Jobbik as a national people’s party, a “constructive, serious political force able to govern the country”. Photo:...

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Liberals: Talented youth leaving Hungary ‘worrying’

Budapest, June 19 (MTI) – The Hungarian Liberal Party said it was worrying that the most talented and wealthiest 18-year-olds are leaving Hungary to go to university abroad. Anett Bősz, the party’s spokesperson, told a press conference on Sunday that 30-50 percent of young people finishing their studies at Hungary’s elite schools have applied to a university abroad and this rate is 5-10 percent at secondary schools where students are from less wealthy families. “The decapitation of society has begun,” Bősz said, adding that losing the most talented youth will cause big problems for Hungary in...

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Hungary government campaigning against Brexit

Budapest, June 19 (MTI) – The Hungarian government will place an advertisement in the British press on Monday to encourage UK voters to support their country remaining a member of the European Union in the upcoming referendum on the subject, the Hungarian government spokesman confirmed press reports on Sunday. Zoltán Kovács told MTI that a strong Europe required cooperation between its largest members, therefore Britain’s membership was crucial. The advertisement, signed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, will read: “The decision is yours, but I would like you to know that Hungary is proud to stand with you as a...

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Socialists to focus on social issues in election campaign

Budapest, June 19 (MTI) – The opposition Socialist Party wants to focus on education, health care, child welfare, seniors and anti-graft efforts and the party’s candidates for leadership are on the same platform regarding these aims, the incumbent party leader József Tóbiás said on Sunday. Joined by other Socialist politicians, Tóbiás told a press conference that the Socialists’ campaign platform will call for an independent investigative body to be set up focusing on corruption-related crime. The four candidates for leadership are Tóbiás, deputy parliamentary group leader Tamás Harangozó, former head of the Budapest chapter Gyula Molnór, and MEP Tibor...

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Lázár: Successful integration of savings coops ‘important’ goal

Budapest, June 19 (MTI) – The government considers the successful integration of the country’s savings cooperatives as an important goal, János Lázár, the government office chief, said at a weekly news briefing on Thursday. Lázár made the comment in response to question concerning Zoltán Spéder, the head of FHB mortgage bank, who is under a criminal investigation and was, according to Sándor Demján, the chairman of the National Savings Cooperative Association (OTSZ), the “spiritual father and driving force” of the controversial 2013 law that put the country’s savings cooperatives under one roof. Demján insisted today that an open letter...

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EURO 2016: Bernd Storck – We deserved a draw

Hungary’s national team coach believes that his side primarily secured a draw against Iceland thanks to their fighting spirit. “I’d like to congratulate my team; they never for a moment gave up the fight and they deserve to be a step closer to progressing from the group” he said after the match. “We attempted to play the kind of football which would ensure we were in contention right until the end. Iceland defended well but my players put a huge amount of work in. We had chances and in the end a goal came from one of them. We...

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LMP calls for less dependence on vehicle sector, EU funds

Budapest, June 19 (MTI) – The government should reduce the Hungarian economy’s dependence on the vehicle sector and European Union subsidies, the deputy parliamentary group leader of the opposition LMP party said on Saturday.  Economy Minister Mihály Varga recently said that the unexpected drop in Hungary’s gross domestic product (GDP) was due to poor performance in the auto sector and a fallback in EU subsidies, but the government has failed to come up with policies to address this problem, as promised, Erzsébet Schmuck told a press conference. The vehicle sector generates 22 percent of Hungary’s industrial output and 90...

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House Speaker encourages voters to support anti-quota referendum

Budapest, June 18 (MTI) – House Speaker László Kövér has encouraged Hungary’s voters to cast their ballot in the government-initiated referendum aimed at thwarting the European Union’s migrant quota system. Speaking before a closed forum in south-western Hungary’s Nagykanizsa on Saturday, Kövér warned that “we may not succeed” unless “everybody” turns up at the polls. Kövér called it “very important” to “send a unanimous message to Brussels” that it is “up to the Hungarians only to decide with whom they want to live in the came country”. The EU will have to observe the outcome of the Hungarian referendum...

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MTVA concludes broadcast agreement for Olympics

Budapest, June 18 (MTI) – Hungary’s public media fund MTVA has concluded an agreement for public media to broadcast summer and winter Olympics between 2018 and 2024. The MTVA called the agreement “historic” in significance and said in a statement that this was the first time that the Games will be aired in Hungarian language throughout the Carpathian Basin. Miklós Vaszily, MTVA’s interim chief executive said in a statement that an important part of the agreement is that it includes rights to digital content on the broadcasts of the Olympics. Under the agreement signed between Discovery Communications and MTVA...

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DK: Hungary’s education leaders “totally incompetent”

Budapest, June 18 (MTI) – Hungary’s education system is in a crisis, the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said on Saturday, and called on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to dismiss the minister of human resources and the state secretary for education because of their “total incompetence”. DK’s MEP Péter Niedermüller told MTI on Saturday that a competent expert should be appointed minister, someone who has “the political courage to put the education system on new, European foundations”. Niedermüller also insisted that the new minister should negotiate with unions and civil groups as well as with the opposition to reach a...

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Justice minister pledges pay rise to judges

Budapest, June 18 (MTI) – Hungary’s judges will be granted a five percent pay rise in October, to be followed by another five percent in January next year, and a further five percent in January 2018, justice minister László Trócsányi said in an interview to MTI, published on Saturday. Trócsányi noted that judges’ salaries have not been raised “for a very long time” and added that if salaries are low, those with the best qualifications will choose different professions. “A judge’s career should be attractive; to achieve that, we must provide equitable pay”, he said. In a reaction to...

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Hungary fares well at Decanter World Wine Awards in London

Budapest, June 15 (MTI) – Hungarian winemakers have collected 44 medals at the Decanter World Wine Awards in London, including two platinum, eight gold, 18 silver and 16 bronze medals. An additional 21 Hungarian wines have been granted seal of approval awards. A total of 64 Hungarian wines from 31 cellars were in competition and a 244-member international jury picked the winners from a selection of more than 13,000 wines. Platina – Best in Show medals went to a 2008 Aszu essence from Chateau Dereszla in Tokaj and a 2012 Furmint from the Szent Tamaá Winery also in...

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EURO 2016 – TEK operates SMS service for Hungarian soccer fans

Budapest, June 14 (MTI) – Hungary’s counter-terrorism centre TEK is operating an emergency text service during the European football championships in Paris, so that fans can be reached as fast as possible in case of an emergency.  Hungarian mobile phone subscribers staying in France will receive a text message with support from Hungary mobile phone providers, TEK said in a statement on Tuesday. TEK will not be given any personal data on mobile phone clients and they will not know their phone numbers either. The mobile phone providers will simply forward any important message from TEK and they will...

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V4 to contribute company of soldiers to Baltics mission, says ministry

Budapest, June 14 (MTI) – Countries in the Visegrád Group (V4) will add a company of soldiers to NATO’s mission in the Baltics, the Hungarian defence ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.  The statement said that the security of NATO members in the Baltics has considerably worsened in wake of the Ukraine crisis. In such a situation “federal solidarity is extremely important”, and Visegrád countries want to make a tangible contribution to efforts aimed at ensuring the security of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, the statement said. Czech, Polish, Hungarian, and Slovak units will take three-month turns and will...

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Zsolnay majority owner cries foul over ‘hostile’ takeover attempt

Budapest, June 14 (MTI) – Bachar Najari, the majority owner of porcelain maker Zsolnay Porcelanmanufaktura, said at a press conference on Tuesday that his company has come under attack by a group lobbying to take over the business. Najari complained that the mayor of Pécs, where Zsolnay is based, had damaged the company by announcing that it was on the verge of bankruptcy. Since then, a number of Zsolnay’s partners have cancelled trade with the company, he added. Najari noted that when he acquired the company in 2013, Zsolnay had liabilities going back more than ten years and an...

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EURO 2016 – Turpin to referee Austria – Hungary match

Budapest, June13 (MLSZ) – French referee Clément Turpin will be the referee for this coming Tuesday’s opening match in Group F between Austria and Hungary in Bordeaux. 34 year-old Turpin has been a FIFA referee since 2010, and is the youngest referee at UEFA EURO 2016. It won’t be the first time he has officiated at a Hungary national team match, having refereed the European Championship qualifier against Finland at the Groupama Aréna in November 2014 in which a Zoltán Gera header gave Hungary a 1-0 victory. Turpin will be assisted in his work by assistant referees Frédéric Cano...

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Socialist leader discusses Hungary economy with ambassadors

Budapest, June 14 (MTI) – József Tóbiás, the head of the Socialist Party, on Tuesday met ambassadors and diplomats of over thirty countries to discuss Hungary’s economy and related policies. A look at Hungary’s economy will reveal that it is falling behind its Visegrad Four allies and the most competitive European Union member states, Tóbiás told a press conference after his talks. “The government’s unorthodox economic policy, which is actually a continuation of the neoliberal economic policies of the past 25 years, has failed,” he said. Tóbiás said the economy’s reserves, which he said were made up solely of...

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Hungary will not accept any migrants who have already crossed through once, says government spokesman

Brussels, June 14 (MTI) – Hungary will not accept any migrants who have already crossed through the country once, government spokesman Zoltán Kovács told an international press conference on Monday. Hungary has never violated the Dublin agreement or the Schengen agreement but fulfilled them both, Kovács said in Brussels. Commenting on the redistribution of migrants in line with the Dublin agreement, he said it is physically impossible for migrants to enter Hungary without having crossed another EU country before. Hungary should not take the responsibility for those countries who have failed to comply with the Dublin agreement. For countries...

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Government organising summer camps in Hungary for children from Ukraine

Budapest, June 14 (MTI) – The government will spend 40 million forints (EUR 127,000) on hosting some 700 children from Ukraine in summer camps at Lake Velence in central Hungary, a human resources ministry state secretary said on Tuesday. Miklós Soltész said last year’s similar programmes were very successful and the camps had been both physically and spiritually uplifting experiences for the children. The Lake Velence camps will host a total of eleven groups until the end of August, the state secretary said during a visit to the first camp. Many of the children participating in the scheme have...

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