Budapest, February 28 (MTI) – The opposition LMP party has turned to President Janos Ader, asking him to consider supporting a referendum on the broader subject of nuclear power rather than just the recent accord with Russia on upgrading Paks nuclear power plant.
LMP co-leader Andras Schiffer noted at a press conference on Friday that a referendum bid had been rejected earlier on the ground that it was on a subject connected with an international agreement. However, if the referendum gauged public opinion on phasing out nuclear power altogether, this would not concern the “Orban-Putin pact” alone, Schiffer said.
He also said Ader should submit a proposal to make referendum campaigns more balanced, since under current rules it is not guaranteed that citizens can decide on issues in open, meaningful debates.
Bernadett Szel, the party’s other co-leader, said the referendum and related debates should be held next year, when the new government to be elected on April 6 will have already settled in.
She added that although a letter from Dominique Ristori, the European Commission’s director-general for energy, stated that there was nothing in the Hungarian-Russian nuclear pact that violated the Euratom Treaty, this did not mean that the EU would have no objections whatsoever to the pact.
Hungary signed an agreement on Jan. 14 on the construction of two blocks at the Paks nuclear power plant by Russia’s Rosatom. Russia is lending Hungary 10 billion euros at favourable rates to cover 80 percent of the project’s costs.