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Public administration courts to open on Jan 1, 2020

Public administration courts to open on Jan 1, 2020

Hungary’s new public administration courts will be up a running on January 1, 2020, the Prime Minister’s Office chief said on Thursday.

The government has approved the concept of a new, specialised system of eight regional public administration courts and a supreme public administration court headquartered in Esztergom, in northern Hungary, Gergely Gulyás told a regular press conference.

By the end of October, the justice ministry will submit draft legislation on the new system and parliament may vote on it during its autumn session, he said.

Gulyás said introducing the new system was about “restoring historical tradition”.

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Hungary had maintained structurally independent public administration courts until 1949 when “the communists” abolished them.

He insisted that the new system would ensure faster and more effective justice for complainants against public administration decisions.

As well as introducing the public administration courts, the government seeks to implement a reform of public administration aimed at simplifying certain procedures and clarifying spheres of authority, Gulyás said.

On another topic, Gulyás announced that the government had decided to set up a reserve fund of 300 million forints (EUR 925,000) for homeless services. He said the fund will be used to set up facilities “for public sanitation tasks” to be performed before a rough sleeper “is taken to a night shelter”. Gulyás noted that

a new law banning homeless people from public areas will take effect on Oct. 15, adding that currently there are more beds in shelters than homeless people in the streets.

The government wants to eliminate “situations that harm the dignity of people with no homes.”

Concerning European Union funds payable to Hungary for border control, Gulyás said no funds had been forthcoming so far.

Regarding a proposal by the national federation of builders aimed at keeping VAT on construction at the current level, Gulyás said VAT had been reduced to 5 percent three years ago on a temporary basis. He said that the measure had met the government’s expectations of boosting construction and there was no point in maintaining it.

Answering a question concerning construction of a new hospital in south Buda, Gulyás said construction of the new facility was scheduled to start in the middle of next year.

Meanwhile, in response to another question, he said the government had not been officially approached by Israel concerning the House of Fates Holocaust museum project. He added that the government was planning to open the facility on the 75th anniversary of the Holocaust “unless the project is thwarted”. He added that “strong forces have been mobilised to stop the scheme.”

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