John Woods | Apr 21, 2019 | 0
Orban pledges “straightforward, clear” responses
Budapest, March 6 (MTI) – Hungary’s voters expect “straightforward and clear” responses to “each attack” directed at the government, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on public Kossuth Radio on Friday morning.
Orban said he thought the current government cycle will see “much more” political struggles than the previous term, and suggested that he was ready to fight those battles.
Concerning a recent by-election in western Hungary’s Veszprem, Orban said that a part of the electorate are dissatisfied with the government, but added that it is not clear why. “They probably want more consultations, slower decision making,” he said, adding that “we need to fight better”. He also added that the government can continue doing its job without a two-thirds majority, which the ruling parties lost in the Veszprem election, but will consult with the opposition whenever necessary. For example, he mentioned Hungary’s possible participation in a military mission in Kurdistan. “It will turn out in the next few days if we can ensure a two-thirds majority” necessary to pass the government-initiated motion, he said.
On the subject of a recent fraud scandal around brokerage firm Buda-Cash, the prime minister called for urgent audits with similar companies “to clear up that mess”. The government is in consultations with the banking association and the central bank on changes to tighten relevant rules, he said. He warned that “the most important question, where are the funds of depositors, should not be forgotten”.
“If I were in control of justice, all those (perpetrators) would already be in prison by now,” Orban said, but added that the government cannot give instructions to the judicial system.
Referring to local governments impacted by the Buda-Cash affair, Orban said it would be reasonable if municipalities had their accounts with the state treasury, and called for efforts to speed up the treasury’s reform.
On another subject, Orban said that parliament’s economic committee had discussed changes to the advertisement tax as suggested by the European Union, adding that “the bullet is in the barrel”. Orban also referred to a possibility of exempting small firms from the ad tax, calling it a “serious suggestion”, but insisted that a practice of scrapping an otherwise reasonable tax due to strong resistance should not be allowed or else the revenues should be collected from less-resistant Hungarians.
Consultations concerning changes to the primary education system are still under way, Orban said. He insisted that a reform is necessary because “large numbers of children leave (primary) school unprepared for secondary school studies”.
Concerning the planned free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union, Orban said he would not support any deal under which economic disputes would be “referred to some remote arbitration court” rather than being governed by the Hungarian legal system.