Budapest, April 24 (MTI) – The ruling Fidesz party will next week submit to parliament its constitutional amendment bill designed to allow the Hungarian authorities scope to handle a potential terrorist threat so it can be debated in two weeks’ time, a Fidesz official said on Sunday.
Gergely Gulyás, deputy speaker of parliament in charge of legislative affairs, told a news conference that parliament was already in the process of debating a draft package of law amendments submitted by the interior minister which aims to make the authorities more effective in detecting a potential terror threat.
It is necessary to change the constitution in parallel in order to allow the deployment of the military in case the police have insufficient forces to handle a significant and direct terrorist threat, Gulyás said. He said he was hopeful that the opposition Socialist Party, which has so far boycotted multi-party talks, as well as the two other parliamentary parties, would support the amendment in the interest of the country’s security. He berated the Socialists for their “irresponsibility” in refusing to take part in the talks. Gulyás also insisted that ongoing five-party constitutional amendment talks were “constructive”.
The cabinet will plough more money towards law enforcement as well as secret and counter-terrorism services. Also a counter-terrorism centre will be established in order to aggregate all information which is relevant to the authorities in tackling organised crime and terrorism, he said.
Discussing actual measures to be implemented in the case of a direct threat, he said the government would turn to parliament with an initiative to announce a terror threat. The cabinet would then acquire the legal tools to seek to prevent or handle a terrorist act, he said.
Other countries with recourse to the armed forces in such situations are Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Slovakia and the United Kingdom, he noted.
Meanwhile, in reply to a question concerning the controversial central bank foundations, Gulyás said that under the governorship of György Matolcsy, the National Bank of Hungary had performed “outstandingly well”. He insisted that the country had “won many hundreds of billions of forints” under the bank’s leadership. He added that the operation of the bank’s foundations were legitimate, though he conceded that it had been a mistake for parliament to attempt to put a shroud over the way their funds were managed. He noted that parliament had decided last week to enable the state auditor (ÁSZ) to monitor the bank’s foundations.