Hercegszántó, 2017. december 14. Simicskó István honvédelmi miniszter konvoja a magyar-szerb határon, Hercegszántó közelében 2017. december 14-én. MTI Fotó: Ujvári Sándor

Security will be the chief value in Europe in 2018, and also for the Hungarian Government the Hungarian people’s security will be the top priority, Károly Kontrát, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Interior said at his press conference which he held jointly with Tamás Vargha, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence.

Mr Kontrát highlighted at the press conference that due to the pressure of migration weighing heavily upon Europe and the permanent threat of terrorism, in 2018 the Government will allocate even more funding for guaranteeing the Hungarian people’s security, and supporting the operation and development of the counter-terrorism and national security services. funding will be allocated for the purposes of managing mass immigration.

“By protecting our borders, we are not only protecting the security of the Hungarian people, but that of the whole of Europe as this is how we are honouring our obligations arising from our Schengen membership”,

he said. He added that according to their calculations, by the beginning of March 2018 some three thousand new border guards will start serving.

He said that while in a number of countries in Europe the people’s sense of security is drastically deteriorating, there is order and rest in Hungary, the number of crimes committed has decreased, and the efficiency of crime detection has improved. “In Europe which is afflicted by migration and the threat of terrorism, Hungary is one of the safest countries”, he stated.

Mr Kontrát stressed: the police may expect HUF 22 billion in excess funding in 2018, and from 1 January the pay of law enforcement workers will increase by another five per cent. As a result, thanks to the law enforcement career model, between July 2015 and January 2019 law enforcement workers will receive a fifty per cent pay rise on average. The replacement of police vehicles will continue in 2018, and they would like to replace the entire fleet of vehicles in the coming years.

The Immigration and Asylum Office will be given extra funding worth HUF 427 million, the Counter-terrorism Information and Criminal Analysis Centre will receive HUF 339 million more, while the National Directorate General for Disaster Management will be given HUF 3.8 billion more funding in 2018. At the same time, the funding of the national security services will also increase, Mr Kontrát said.

Tamás Vargha, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Defence Ministry stated at the press conference that Hungary’s security is the utmost priority. As he said, next year “more money, more soldiers and more equipment will be available in the service of the Hungarian defence effort”, and members of the Hungarian military will continue to take part in the protection of the borders also in 2018. He said that compared with this year, the country’s defence budget will increase by HUF 74 billion to HUF 428 billion. He added: the government is seeking to achieve that defence expenditures reach two per cent of GDP by 2024.

The State Secretary stressed: from January soldiers’ pay will increase by another five per cent thanks to the relevant career model, and in consequence their pay too will increase by 50 per cent on average between 2015 and 2019. Additionally, an extensive barracks development project will start in Hódmezővásárhely, Tata and Szolnok for the purposes of which the government is allocating HUF 11 billion in 2018.

Mr Vargha highlighted that

the individual outfits and equipment of soldiers will also be improved, and every member of the Hungarian defence forces will receive the latest combat uniform.

Another goal is to have a volunteer reserve unit in all 197 districts. To this end, the government will allocate more money to the renewal of the Volunteer Reserve System and the funding of the Defence Sports Association. The State Secretary added that, after a hiatus of twenty years, the training of military pilots and air traffic controllers will resume at the National Public Service University and the Szolnok air base.

Mr Vargha said that the goal of the Zrínyi 2026 defence and military forces development programme is for the Hungarian Defence Forces to become a major army in Central Europe, and to this end almost one hundred billion forints will be allocated to the development of the defence forces in 2018.

In order to “refurbish the assets we have at our disposal by preserving them”, the overhaul of helicopters will continue next year, while the Hungarian Defence Forces will procure two A319 Airbus aircraft in order to upgrade their air transport capability, he added. The State Secretary told the press that the missions of the Hungarian Defence Forces will continue in the countries where Hungarian soldiers are present.

Photo: MTI

Source: Press release – kormany.hu

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