‘Soros network’ attempts to influence EU reports on Hungary, says minister Lázár
In addition to their efforts to influence decisions in Hungary, members of the “Soros network” also regularly try to interfere in the European Union’s compilation of reports and formation of official positions on Hungary and Poland, the government office chief said on Wednesday.
US financier George Soros employs some 2,000 activists whose job is to interfere in Hungary’s domestic political decision-making process, János Lázár told a press briefing after a cabinet meeting.
And Soros’s Brussels office attempts to interfere in the EU’s drafting of reports on Hungary and Poland with “various written recommendations”, Lázár added.
He said that after the April 8 election, the government should “review these processes” from a national security standpoint. The government should also bring to the EU’s attention that the organisations in question are interfering in the European Commission’s decision-making process, which he said hurts the commission’s transparency.
In light of these practices, the government still considers it crucial that parliament pass the “Stop Soros” bill, Lázár said.
He said that at the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had briefed the cabinet on last week’s European Council summit. Lázár quoted Orbán as having said that Hungary would no longer support the Bulgarian EU presidency’s border protection proposal, as it focuses too much on the redistribution of migrants across the bloc.
Further, the government reaffirmed Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó’s mandate to continue to oppose the United Nations’ migration package. Lázár repeated the government’s position that
Hungary will not back the UN’s stance on migration until its 12-point proposal concerning the draft package is approved.
On the topic of the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain, Lázár said Orbán last week in Brussels had recommended recalling the EU’s permanent representative in Moscow for consultations. The government office chief did not elaborate on Hungary’s decision to expel a Russian diplomat over allegations that Russia was behind the murder attempt.
Concerning the government’s plans, Lázár said the government was looking at ways to implement its winter utility bill cuts in towns with no district heating. He said there were some 300 municipalities like this in Hungary. The government will make a decision on how to support residents in such towns and villages over the coming days, he said. Lázár noted that the scheme will benefit some 3.4 million households.
On another subject, Lázár said
the government would propose legislation to prevent construction of buildings higher than 65 metres in Hungary.
He argued that the city scape could be affected by buildings higher than St. Stephen’s Basilica, currently the tallest building on the Pest side. He noted that some recent construction proposals were aimed at building 120 metre tall structures, which he said were “jeopardising” the sight. He said that the government was “even ready to pay compensation” to parties involved in those projects to resolve the situation. The bill, if Hungary’s next parliament passes it into law, could take effect on June 30, Lázár added.
The government office chief was asked about press reports which suggested that a member of an international criminal organisation as well as another person linked to Syria’s dictatorship have bought residency bonds in Hungary. Lázár said that participants in the bond programme had been screened, adding that “no violation, mistake or negligence” has been reported. He went on to say that those claiming that there is a security risk “are supporting people who had attacked Hungarian police at Röszke (border station)”. He also added that it was not up to government members to determine whether an applicant posed a security risk.
The minister was also asked about an interview, in which a former contact person to the fans of Ferencváros football team had claimed that he had received instructions to prevent a representative of the Socialist Party from submitting a referendum initiative. Lázár called the story “surrealistic” and rejected the assumption that his Fidesz party should have issued any such instruction. He added he would not comment on remarks made by someone “stoned or drunk”.