Gulyas: Outgoing EC aiming to cement policies

Prime Minister’s Office chief Gergely Gulyas, at a regular press briefing on Wednesday, said the reason behind the European Commission’s recent decision to sue Hungary over the “Stop Soros” package of laws was that the outgoing body was “aiming to cement its policies in its remaining months”.

Gulyas added, at the same time, that EC President-elect Ursula von der Leyen was capable of easing divisions within the European Union. He said the government also believed she could lead the commission well, create consensus among member states and define the bloc’s shared values.

Gulyas noted that Prime Minister Viktor Orban is scheduled to meet Von der Leyen for private talks on Thursday, underlining the Hungarian government’s continued confidence in the EC president-elect. He said the two leaders could potentially cover any variety of topics. He added that Hungary respects the incoming EC chief’s authority to decide on the makeup of the new commission.

He also touched on a decision issued by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) earlier this week under which judges can grant international protection to refugees if an administrative body has overruled their decision without establishing new elements in the given case.

Gulyas said the ruling had granted the courts powers that were not guaranteed by Hungarian law. He said the ruling meant that the EU was opening up the asylum system to possible abuse.

Gulyas cited as an example the case of a Russian national with a criminal background whose asylum application had been rejected by the Hungarian state, while the EU court had ruled that he qualified for asylum. He said the justice minister would have to look into whether the ECJ’s ruling required the enactment of new legislation.

In response to a question, Gulyas said German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s scheduled joint commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Pan-European Picnic will include an ecumenical worship service to be addressed by both leaders.

On another subject, the PM’s Office chief said the cabinet had held its last meeting before its summer break on Tuesday and will next meet on Aug. 21.

In response to a question about whether Lorinc Meszaros, a businessman linked to the Hungarian prime minister, was “paying the prime minister back” by renting a golf course from his father, Gulyas said it appeared that “opposition politics is more and more about defamation and libel”. The government does not concern itself with business matters, he said, expressing incomprehension as to why the opposition was making accusations concerning a market-based leasing deal.

Meanwhile, asked if there were any plans to change boating regulations after the May 29 Danube ship collision, Gulyas said discussions on the matter would have to wait until the end of the criminal proceedings in the case.

Source and photo: MTI

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