(MTI) – The ruling Fidesz party is ready to hand over money from the central budget to local councils so localities can contribute their own funds to European Union projects, the managing deputy chairman of the ruling party said on Saturday.
Lajos Kosa told a news conference that the goal was to make sure that in EU tendering procedures, local councils do not become indebted — as had been the case in the period of the governments of Ferenc Gyurcsany and Gordon Bajnai.
The 2014-2020 EU budget period contains exceptionally important programmes as far as local governments are concerned, and this is why it is essential that local councils should be established that “are capable of cooperating — and are inclined to do so — with the development programmes which are determined by the central government and parliament.”
Kosa condemned local politicians who seek to win municipal posts “to build political strongholds rather than to improve the municipality and make people’s lives better”. He argued that “they are on the wrong path because cooperation with them is much more difficult”.
Kosa said the government would put out tenders for nine development programmes in early October. The schemes will include one to support young entrepreneurs, another promoting employment of people with special needs, and a third to support schools and other institutions for small children. The programmes will use 10.5 billion forints (EUR 31m) altogether, including one billion forints which local councils can apply for to train people working in children’s institutions, Kosa said.
The government will also help small and medium-size ventures with a total 5 billion forints via local governments and assist entrepreneurs younger than 25 with 36 billion forints, Kosa added.
Answering a question on another subject, Kosa said that the recent appointment of Gusztav Zoltai, former head of the federation of Hungarian Jewish communities, as an advisor to the government, had been a “bold” and “risky move”, which had caused a great surprise within Fidesz circles, Jewish circles and the opposition.