Gulyas slams Timmermans for double standards

Franz Timmermans, first vice-president of the European Commission, “plays the role of chief European Union official” while he is at the top of the “Socialists’ pro-migration [EP election] list”, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office told a press conference on Friday.

Gergely Gulyas insisted that applying those “double standards” was a result of “customised legislation” in the EU, and said as an example that the head of the secretariat of Hungarian MEPs in Brussels would be required to suspend his position if he were fielded in the election.

Gulyas said Timmermans enjoyed “revenues equal to 44 million forints (EUR 138,000)” while “promoting the pro-migration list”.

Concerning an upcoming visit by Timmermans to Budapest, Gulyas said the EC’s first vice-president would be

“witness to a wedding between the Hungarian post-communist Left and anti-Semites”.

He added that Hungary’s Left “identified with anti-Nazism due to its post-communist roots” while it was “ready for wedlock with a party they see as ultra-right”.

Concerning an upcoming visit to Budapest by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Gulyas said that the US is Hungary’s “greatest ally in NATO” and added that Hungary has

“no similar alliance with Russia but a reasonable business partnership is in the interest of the whole of Europe”.

Answering a question, Gulyas said it was “no surprise” that Pompeo’s agenda includes meetings with “organisations also financed from the US”. According to press reports, Pompeo will meet leaders of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ) and the Helsinki Committee.

On another subject, Gulyas said that the government appreciates Turkey’s role in stemming illegal migration and it would “meet all its payment obligations to facilitate that role”. He also voiced doubt that Frontex could stop a possible wave of migrants from North Africa at the EU’s external borders.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban will roll out the government’s action plan aimed at assisting families in his state of the nation speech on Sunday, Gulyas said. He said the government scheme “has had a history and if possible, it will be continued”. He said that the country’s economic achievements since 2010 “have made it possible for the central budget to contribute more and more towards family support” and allow for further tax incentives for “those working and raising children”.

Gulyas also voiced hope that the government’s measures would contribute to an increase in the number of births.

On another subject, Gulyas announced that the government has decided to buy out for 24 billion forints (EUR 75.2m) a building of Corvinus University funded through a public private partnership (PPP) scheme.

Gulyas said this type of financing has proven to be “very expensive” and project costs are still being paid ten years after projects started.

Gulyas said the cabinet has requested a summary on the continuing financial liabilities of the government from old PPP agreements.

Asked about the possible introduction of a code of ethics for lawmakers, Gulyas said he saw no need for imposing restrictions on the rights of MPs. He added, however, that last December, opposition lawmakers did restrict MP rights when they tried to disrupt the vote on the amendment to the labour code. Gulyas said that among such circumstances he did not see much of a point in introducing a code of ethics.

Commenting on the penalties proposed for the MPs who had disrupted the session, he said the actions of the opposition had been “significantly more serious” than something that could be settled by deducting one month’s salary from them. He added the actions were

“an attempt to prevent the normal operation of Hungary’s constitutional order.”

Commenting on a Venice Commission delegation collecting information in Budapest about public administration courts, he said the Hungarian regulations fully stood the test of constitutional and international legal requirements.

He confirmed that the 2020 central budget is planned to be approved in the middle of the year, after the European parliamentary elections.

In reply to a question about the upgrade of the Paks nuclear power station, he said the project had suffered a one-year delay but it had no effect on its price.

Commenting on a legal dispute the Hungarian state had with the French voucher company Sodexo, Gulyas said Hungary would appeal the court ruling that imposed a fine on it but even if the appeal is rejected, it has been worth for the country to change its voucher system.

Source and photo: MTI

Hungary Journal

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