Orbán’s cabinet: Hungary’s independence at stake
Budapest, May 18 (MTI) – The main issue of the next few years will be whether Hungary can maintain its independence as a member state of the European Union, the government office chief said on Thursday.
Serious disputes can be expected on relatively simple questions, such as who should decide whom to allow into Hungary, János Lázár told a weekly press briefing. Voters think this decision should be kept in the hands of Hungarians, he added.
Another serious dispute revolves around who sets tax rates: Brussels or the Hungarian parliament elected by taxpayers, Lázár said.
The supporters of internationalism in Europe want to curb the powers of nation states and boost the powers of Brussels, he added.
EP resolution ‘left-wing political provocation’
The resolution on Hungary approved by the European Parliament is “nothing other than a left-wing political provocation,” the government office chief said.
The European Parliament voted on Wednesday to propose invoking Article 7 against Hungary.
A consultation mechanism will be launched and Hungary will respond to all relevant question, János Lázár told a weekly press briefing on Thursday.
“Our interest lies in constructive dialogue,” he said. “But they are asking for impossible things that we cannot and do not want to fulfil because they go against Hungarian interests”, he added. Cooperation will be possible on some issues but not on most issues, he insisted.
The EP resolution also broaches the issue of the Central European University, he said. The government’s position is that everyone should be equal under the law and should abide by it. The government is “generous” and will be willing to hold consultations, “even with those that do not want to abide by the law,” Lázár said. The government will meet its obligation to also hold consultations with the European Commission on the matter, he added.
The government office chief flagged government measures to reach demographic targets, including family support mechanisms that encourage bringing young into the world.
János Lázár told a weekly press briefing the annual number of births of 93,000 would have to rise by 30,000 by the year 2030.
In the next few days Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will announce a series of measures that address the issue, he said, adding that more measures must be implemented to help couples have a second or third child.
The demographic decline must be stopped through family support rather than migration, Lázár said.
Hungary army set for headcount boost, tech upgrades
Hungary will increase the headcount of its armed forces and upgrade its equipment as part of a comprehensive military development programme, the government office chief said.
At an upcoming NATO summit later this month, Hungary will pledge to increase its defence spending to 2 percent of GDP from the current 1 percent by 2024, Lázár told a weekly government press briefing. This will entail an annual defence budget of about 1,000-1,200 billion forints (EUR 3.23bn-3.87bn), he said.
Having fixed Hungary’s public security, the government also wants the military to be in a condition to protect the country, he said, referring to the development programme dubbed “Zrínyi 2026”.