Budapest, March 3 (MTI) – The government has reached an agreement with Brussels on the transparency of the Paks nuclear plant upgrade and a bill on the project will soon be submitted to parliament, government office chief János Lázár told a regular government press conference on Thursday. Greece is trying to force migration onto Hungary by interfering in the lawsuit Hungary has filed with the EU over its mandatory migrant quota scheme, minister said. The government offers its assistance to resolve an open issue concerning access to the public data of the National Bank’s foundations, Lázár said.
Government, EC reach agreement on Paks upgrade transparency
Lázár said the government and the European Commission have recently speeded up talks regarding the involvement of illegal state aid in the project and the adherence to EU public procurement law.
Moving on to a different topic, Lázár said the government has called tenders for 46 percent of EU funds available for the 2014-2020 funding period, noting that tenders for the remaining funds would be called by July 1, 2017 at the latest.
He also announced that the government would offer 10 billion forints (EUR 32.3m) in government support for Hungarian dairy producers.
Greece wants to “force” migration onto Hungary
Greece’s interference in the case is “anti-Hungarian”, Lázár told a regular government news conference.
He said the government does not mind helping migrants, but added that “if we help them here, we will draw them here”, whereas if Hungary offers to help them in their countries of origin, they will stay there. Lázár said the Hungarian government was ready to contribute to international aid programmes.
Concerning mandatory migrant quotas, Lázár said the redistribution scheme would affect the lives of every Hungarian, adding that everyone needs to be given the right to decide whether they reject or approve of the scheme. This is a matter of sovereignty, he said.
He said the leftist opposition parties who turned to the Kúria, Hungary’s supreme court, over the government’s planned referendum intend to alter the country’s ethnic makeup and on this issue the government strongly disagrees. “Hungary does not need migrants,” he said.
Lázár said the Visegrad Four grouping of Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic remain convinced that a second line of defence is needed on the Balkan route in Macedonia against the migration wave. Right now Austria is the country which represents central European views “most vocally and charismatically”, he said. Hungary is very committed to complying with the EU’s rules and to protecting its borders, Lazar said, adding that handling the migrant crisis has so far cost 80 billion forints to which the EU only contributed 3 billion. In January and February this year altogether 3,000 migrants arrived at Hungary’s southern borders of which 150 claimed to be of Syrian nationality, he said. Reinforcing Hungary’s border barriers with Serbia, Croatia and preparing to do so on the Romanian border will be on the agenda of next week’s cabinet meeting.
On a related subject, Lázár said that Hungary took in many of the 50,000-100,000 refugees who fled south-western Ukraine due to the armed conflict in that country.
Government ready to discuss data access of cbank foundations
The government respects legislation passed by parliament, but “the issue has not been closed”, Lázár said, concerning a recent amendment under which the central bank could restrict public access to information on the finances of its foundations.
The National Bank should be governed by the same laws as applicable to the central banks of non-eurozone countries, Lázár said.
“What is not private money is public money,” Lázár said, but added that “in the interest of fiscal security of a country” public information on the use of public funds can be restricted.
Answering a question on another subject, Lázár said that a planned amendment to the budget law would not ensure an authorisation to the government to shape the budget through decrees. He said the new provisions would only regulate how the government should spend leftover funds accumulated on a monthly basis.
Concerning public education, Lázár said that proposals to change schools manager Klik would be presented after Easter. He said that “the principle of shared responsibility between state and local governments has failed”. Authorisations for schoolmasters will change, he said but added that “decision making levels” have not yet been defined.