Orban: Mandatory military service not on agenda
Budapest, January 17 (MTI) – Hungary will not introduce mandatory military service, the issue is not on the agenda and will not be on the agenda, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Sunday.
Orban was asked on public news channel M1 whether there was a dispute between the government and parliamentary speaker Laszlo Kover over this issue, after press reports of Kover flagging that conscription would be reintroduced. Orban said there was no such dispute and Kover did not say that mandatory military service would be reintroduced in Hungary. The issue is not being discussed by the government, Orban said.
The opposition Socialists said it was clear to everyone that the reintroduction of mandatory military service had no roots in reality in Hungary and a discussion about it only indicated that there were internal conflicts in the ruling Fidesz party. Over the past six years, the Fidesz government made the army nearly unable to function, so instead of such disputes, Fidesz should focus on making the army fit to operate, deputy group leader and deputy head of parliament’s police and defence committee Tamas Harangozo and party lawmaker Marta Demeter said in a joint statement.
The opposition Egyutt party said that instead of fantasising about the reintroduction of conscription, the government should deal with some urgent issues that needed to be resolved, such as problems in health care and the education system.
The opposition party PM said the Orban government was “driving the last nail in Hungary’s coffin” when it threatens young people with conscription and with the introduction of a state of emergency because measures both accelerate their emigration.
The leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said it firmly rejected the recruitment of a conscription army. Agnes Vadai, the party’s deputy leader, said besides Kover, Lajos Kosa, Fidesz’s parliamentary group leader and head of the police and defence committee, and Defence Minister Istvan Simicsko had already touched on the subject, which means that “Fidesz had back-stabbed Hungarian youth, too”.
Simicsko noted earlier in an interview earlier that the abolishment of conscription may have given way to the emergence of various militant groups as an international trend.