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A hiring freeze imposed by the government in the public administration sector does not affect hospitals or social institutions, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office said on Thursday.

The government’s aim was to suspend recruitment in public administration, but no other sectors, Gergely Gulyás told a regular press briefing.

Commenting on reports of a hiring freeze in place in the health-care sector, Gulyás said health-care institutions were free to hire new staff at any time.

He noted that the government will lift the hiring freeze in public administration on Dec. 1.

Gulyás also said that recent staff layoffs had left Hungary’s ministries with significant amounts of unspent funds which will be paid out to workers in the form of bonuses before the end of the year.

On another subject, he said the government had no plans to change the rules concerning the distribution of funds to local councils, unless the councils initiated such an amendment.

As regards public transport in Budapest, Gulyás noted that the government will plough 15 billion forints into subsidies for student and pensioner BKV passes and earmark 12 billion forints in blanket subsidies for the sector.

He reiterated that all public transport funds promised to former Budapest mayor István Tarlós will still be made available to the new city leadership.

Meanwhile, Gulyás said the government had already finalised its decision not to set up a separate system of public administration courts before last month’s local elections.

On the topic of a new athletics stadium planned to be built in Budapest, Gulyás said the government was waiting to hear the opinions of the districts concerned. He called the stadium “the government’s greenest project”, saying that if the capital did not want it built, the project would be scrapped. The PM’s chief of staff said the stadium would be built on an area close to downtown Budapest that is currently “unsuitable for anything else”. If the project went ahead, this area would be converted into a 44-hectare public park, he noted.

“If someone considers themselves green, it’s not really clear why they don’t support the project,” Gulyás said.

In response to a question, he said almost all the required permits have been issued for the project to upgrade and extend Budapest’s cogwheel railway, adding that the government was waiting to hear district’s and the municipal council’s opinion on the matter.

On another subject, he said the government is preparing to impose a tax on property speculation.

In response to another question, Gulyás said Fidesz’s leadership has discussed the mayoral by-election in Győr to replace Zsolt Borkai, who was recently implicated in a sex scandal, but the nominee would have to be chosen by the party’s Győr chapter. The PM’s Office chief declined to comment on reports that Fidesz planned to nominate cardiologist and current city councillor Csaba András Dezsi.

Source: MTI

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