MTI Fotó: Kovács Tamás

Budapest (MTI) – The government plans “major changes” on the state bond market after Standard and Poor’s raised Hungary’s rating last week, government office chief János Lázár said on Thursday. A successful Oct. 2 referendum in terms of turnout and the number of ‘no’ votes would authorise the government to propose changing Hungary’s constitution and even European law, he said. Hungary is expected to come under massive pressure in the near future, Lázár said.

Govt to rethink securities market on back of S+P upgrade 

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has asked Economy Minister Mihály Varga to review financial opportunities arising from the upgrade, Lázár said at his regular weekly press conference. Varga will examine opportunities on the market for state bonds and will propose changes by December, he said.

“An upgrade is not merely symbolic; it has a practical impact, too,” he said. This marks a new chapter in state securities trade and in state financing itself, Lázár added.

Asked whether the government plans to enter the foreign-currency bond market again, Lázár said “every possibility will be weighed”.

Lázár also said that these changes would present a good opportunity to review the institutional system behind residency bonds.

Constitution may be changed in light of referendum result

Lázár told that Scandinavian countries have asked the EU to launch an infringement procedure against Hungary for refusing to take back migrants. Punishment or legal pressure is on the cards, he said, referring to EU migrant quotas and Hungary’s forthcoming referendum seeking rejection of the redistribution scheme.

Since Greece will not take migrants back, Hungary would have to accommodate 30,000-50,000 migrants and provide them housing and other services, he said.

“Other countries like Austria and Germany are biding their time because they know migrants first entered the EU elsewhere,” Lázár said.

Hungary is expected to come under massive pressure in the near future. For this reason, it is imperative that the Oct. 2 referendum on European Union migrant quotas has an unambiguous outcome, he said.

Lázár said that what was at stake in the referendum was whether Hungarians could form a consensus, or a “national bloc”, transcending party affiliations which therefore could not be ignored by Brussels. “The referendum is not about the government but about the lives of each of us and with whom we choose to live,” he said.

Lázár said German Chancellor Angela Merkel had recently declared she would turn back the clock if she could. But this is not possible, he said. The only solution is to send refugees to beyond the EU borders, he added.

Hungary is among the EU countries that show the greatest solidarity because it is protecting the bloc’s borders with no support from the community, Lázár said. In contrast, in the past 18 months to date, the European Commission has “not produced a single unambiguous remark on protecting the borders,” he insisted.

No breakthrough was reached at the informal EU summit in Bratislava last Friday with a view to changing Brussels’ position on migration policy, he said. This Saturday there will be a meeting with countries on the western Balkan route which will provide another opportunity to put pressure on EU policymaking, Lázár said.

Greece and Germany are the key countries to resolving the current migrant crisis, he said. Greece ignores and sabotages Schengen rules without facing EU sanctions, while Germany’s failure to impose a firm ceiling on the number of migrants it is prepared to take in continues to have a “suction effect”. Until they change their policies, tensions along the Balkans migrant route could explode at any time, Lázár said. If Greece continues to ignore EU rules with impunity, Bulgaria and Macedonia may assume a growing role in shutting down the Balkan route, he added.

Concerning “no-go zones” in European cities, Lázár insisted that the government’s leaflets reflected reality. “The government has a duty to inform the public about facts on the ground,” he said. The government does not want to hurt any of its partners, but voters should have a clear-eyed view, he insisted. The government understands why protests against its assertions have been made but “Berlin, Brussels, Paris and London have areas where it is inadvisable to go in the evening.”

Concerning Austria drilling foundations for a fence along the Hungarian border, Lázár said Austria was on the verge of its load-bearing capacity. “It is good news for them, however, that Hungary’s fence along the Serbian border is stopping migrants heading for Austria,” he added. Hungary insists that the Austrian measures should not hamper Hungarian commuters. These would also harm the Austrian economy, he added. Austria has made it clear that its steps are not directed against either Hungary or Hungarian employees, Lázár said.

The government office chief called it a “blatant lie” that Hungarian police officers had been violent towards migrants along the Serbian border.

“It is not the police but illegal migrants who attacked the border fence, stormed Budapest’s Keleti railway station and occupied the Budapest-Vienna motorway last year,” he said.

Hungary expected to come under huge pressure on migration

Addressing his regular weekly press conference, Lázár said that what was at stake in the referendum was whether Hungarians could form a consensus, or a “national bloc”, transcending party affiliations which therefore could not be ignored by Brussels. “The referendum is not about the government but about the lives of each of us and with whom we choose to live,” he said.

Lázár said German Chancellor Angela Merkel had recently declared she would turn back the clock if she could. But this is not possible, he said. The only solution is to send refugees to beyond the EU borders, he added.

Hungary is among the EU countries that show the greatest solidarity because it is protecting the bloc’s borders with no support from the community, Lázár said. In contrast, in the past 18 months to date, the European Commission has “not produced a single unambiguous remark on protecting the borders,” he insisted.

No breakthrough was reached at the informal EU summit in Bratislava last Friday with a view to changing Brussels’ position on migration policy, he said. This Saturday there will be a meeting with countries on the western Balkan route which will provide another opportunity to put pressure on EU policymaking, Lázár said.

Photo: MTI

Source: MTI

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