Deputy foreign minister Levente Magyar wrote a letter to the ministry’s department leaders and to ambassadors of Hungary, emphasising that regardless of the coronavirus, they should stick to the regular procedures in all official issues.
Moreover, Index could get hold of another important internal letter, in which the ministry threatens with the immediate summoning of those mission leaders who do not provide correct data as soon as possible about their questions regarding the epidemic. The former letter was forwarded by deputy secretary Ferenc Dancs, and it aims to assure everybody that
work did not halt despite the global epidemic.
The letter emphasises that there are many telltale signs that work discipline loosened in the last few weeks.
Therefore, Levente Magyar asks every department leader of the ministry to remain calm and prevent the creation of a panic-like atmosphere among the workers who are afraid of being infected, and so they tend to overstep the written and unwritten rules of operation. He makes it clear that protection against the virus is not only supported but also recommended. However, he regards it as unacceptable that some people do not work saying that they are afraid of the virus.
He also stated that if a mission leader would like to change the rules of operation, the modifications have to be accepted by the deputy secretary. He added that even though there are many obstacles, normal processes cannot halt. Magyar stressed that
each official has to pay exceptional attention to those Hungarian citizens who are in trouble abroad.
Tamás Menczer, who became the leader of an action group responsible for international coordination last Friday, wrote the other letter. He made it clear that all missions and ambassadors have to continue their work as before, and if the ministry has questions, they have to answer them as soon as possible. He added that those mission leaders who cannot fulfil that task will be summoned in Budapest. Furthermore, the mission leaders and ambassadors are responsible for every information the embassy sends home.
Hungarian FM Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday that 46 Hungarian citizens are in quarantine in 5 countries:
Szijjártó added that if there are any Hungarians abroad not knowing how to travel home, they should contact the local embassy, and they will help them to do so.