The National Consultation: some 600 thousand questionnaires had already been sent in
“The National Consultation is not anti-European, and in fact, it is distinctly pro-European and is aimed at reforming the EU through protecting issues that fall within a national sphere of competence”, the Minister of State for Government Communication said.
At his press conference, Bence Tuzson stressed that Hungary is under “never before seen pressure”, and accordingly there has never been a more important time for the people of Hungary to stand up in defence of Hungary’s interests.
According to Mr. Tuzson, the best instrument for doing so is to fill out and return the National Consultation questionnaire. “A country’s politics can only be successful if it has the support of the people”, the Minister of State said.
The most important question put forward in the National Consultation concerns immigration policy, because Brussels would like to force Hungary to “allow in illegal immigrants”, he explained , adding that this would mean that the current practice of performing immigration procedures at the border would again be replaced by procedures within the territory of the EU. “This is something we would like to avoid at all costs”, he added.
Mr. Tuzson cited the issue of energy union, or protecting of the existing achievements of Hungary’s reduction in public utility charges, as the second issue, highlighting the fact that Brussels would like to leave the right to determine energy prices up to free competition, or rather up to the energy companies, but according to the Hungarian Government the right solution is to have an upper limit for energy prices. “Is Brussels creates competition in this area, it will not serve the interests of the people, because energy prices will break through this ceiling”, he said.
In addition, the Hungarian Government is also insisting on the fact that the Hungarian activities of “various paid activist organisations” must be transparent, meaning that their activities must be made clear to the Hungarian public and they should report on foreign funding received above a certain amount, the Minister of State from the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister said.
“Every Hungarian citizen has the right to know in whose interests activist groups and paid agent organisations are performing their activities”, he said, adding that nobody wants to restrict the Hungarian activities of these organisations.
Mr. Tuzson said it was also fundamentally important that Hungary has the right to continue practicing its own policies with regard to job creation, because one of Hungary’s greatest achievements today is that it has successfully reduced unemployment to around 4-5 percent, while wages are also increasingly significantly, adding that “Brussels has also launched an attack in this area”, for instance against the public work programme.
Lastly, the Minister of State for Government Communication said the National Consultation’s question on tax policy was also important, because in his opinion if the country were unable to determine the level of taxes itself it would also find itself on a “closed track” with regard to economic policy. “Hungary has chosen a policy of tax cuts”, stressed Mr. Tuzson, according to whom if Brussels attacks Hungary’s tax policy, as it previously did in the case of reverse VAT, then it could eventually force Hungary to introduce a policy of tax increases. “We would like to continue a policy of tax cuts”, the Minister of State emphasised.
Citing the above, Mr. Tuzson called on everyone to fill out and return their National Consultation questionnaires, and in reply to a question said that some 600 thousand questionnaires had already been sent in.
In reply to another question, the Minister of State said the European Commission’s claims with regard to the National Consultation are “at the very least misleading”, and accordingly the Government will be providing a detailed reply to the Commission’s letter on the subject.