Weekly government press briefing about Budapest’s new hospitals, immigration, EU
Budapest, June 9 (MTI) – The cabinet has decided that Budapest needs four new hospital centres, the government office chief said at his regular news briefing on Thursday. Brussels and Hungary differ in principle over the issue of migration, he said.
Government plans 4 new hospital hubs in Budapest
A final decision has been made to expand the Honved hospital in the north, to strengthen St István and St László hospitals in the south of Pest, to build a new “super hospital” in the area of Kelenföld in the southwest in Buda and later to create a new hospital in north Buda. The cabinet favours developing the Kútvölgyi hospital and establishing a sports health centre there, too. He added that St János hospital in Buda will not be made into a “super hospital”.
Hungary, Brussels differ in principle over migration
Based on proposals put forward by the European Commission, preparations are under way to organise migration into Europe while Hungary rejects migration and supports families, János Lázár said.. He suggested that the two positions were “irreconcilable”.
Referring to the Hungarian government’s proposal to stop migrants at the Schengen borders and allow European countries that want to take in migrants to “select” between them, Lázár said the Austrian foreign minister had a similar position. He said he trusted that Hungarian voters would support this position in an upcoming government-initiated quota referendum.
The cabinet will discuss the issue of reception centres in Hungary on Friday and consider setting up a transit zone at Asotthalom on the Hungarian side of the border with Serbia, he said. In general, he said however, Hungary “does not need camps” and the government’s objective is to shut them down.
Concerning migrant statistics, Lázár said that out of 177,000 migrants registered in Hungary last year, between 3,000 and 4,000 applied for asylum in the country. “All the rest left the country… only 3-4 thousand people had a serious problem”, while the others travelled in the hope of boosting their living standards, he insisted, adding that 15-20 percent of the applicants are granted asylum through what he called as “fair and straightforward” procedures.
The government has adopted plans to refurbish Budapest’s Museum of Applied Arts with a budget of 25 billion forints (EUR 80.2m). The project will include construction of a new wing to the Art Nouveau building based on original 120-year-old designs, he said.
The government has also decided to keep the headquarters of the National Szechenyi Library in the Royal Palace in Buda Castle, while a new facility will be built outside the city to deposit its stocks, Lázár said. He also said that “if the National Museum has development ideas” the government is ready to provide room in state-owned buildings in its vicinity.
On the subject of recent auctions of state-owned land, Lázár said that the government is in the process of drafting a bill on what 250-300 billion forints (EUR 0.8-1bn) of revenues should be spent on. The bill could be tabled in parliament in September, he added. Parliament will decide if the funds should be used to build industrial parks, reduce the national debt or finance public health projects such as building new hospitals, he said.