Hungary refuses in the strongest possible terms to open the borders of the EU and to install migrant villages in Central-Eastern-Europe, János Lázár, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said at the press conference Governmentinfo 93 which he held jointly with Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács.

Mr Lázár said in response to the proposal of the leader of the Green Group in the European Union concerning settlers: they are proposing to resettle entire villages from Syria and countries of the region to Central-Europe, including Hungary. He stressed that every country has the right to determine what is happening in its territory and whom its citizens should live together with.

In his view, these debates tie in with the issue of security, and security will be one of the most important issues of the meeting of the European Council. He added: we are compelled to live in a Europe where major and minor acts of terrorism and terrorist incidents have become everyday occurrences.

Mr Lázár said: there has been no terrorist incident in Europe in the past one year which was not connected to immigration one way or another. These acts of terrorism were committed by first or second generation immigrants, he added.

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The Minister told the press that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will therefore push for enhanced security cooperation in Europe, the acceleration of the reinforcement of Europe’s defence capabilities and the establishment of a common European army at the upcoming meeting of the European Council. He added: it is important that the protection of the EU’s external borders should be in the focus.

He said: there is an enormous debate regarding the issue of migration both within the European People’s Party and in the European Parliament. Hungary takes the view that political refugees should be separated from illegal and economic migrants. They should be detained outside Europe’s borders and checked there, he detailed.

He continued: only those should be allowed to enter Europe who have been granted asylum, while if any of the Member States has an economic or political interest in such an arrangement, they have the right to let migrants in against the background of taking responsibility for them.

Hungary is interested in a „fair Brexit”

Mr Lázár informed the press that the European Commission will render an account of the progress of the Brexit negotiations at the meeting of the European Council. He said in evaluation: the EU is in great trouble as one of the most important Member States is leaving. There are Hungarians in the hundreds of thousands living in Britain, they require the protection of their interests, and it is therefore important that the Hungarian Government is also seeking to safeguard their interests to the fullest extent, he said, indicating that Hungary will not conduct separate negotiations with the Brits. He added: Hungary is interested in a „fair Brexit”.

Mr Lázár further highlighted that the heads of government will review the agreements which the European community has concluded with third countries in the interest of curbing migration. He mentioned the one signed with Turkey as an example.

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V4 Presidency is major responsibility

The head of the Prime Minister’s Office also pointed out that Hungary has major responsibility for representing the interests of the Visegrád countries (V4) well as the issues of migration will be placed on the agenda in Europe following the takeover of the V4 Presidency. Europe’s future is at stake, he said, adding: Central-Europe has a role, responsibility and duty in this.

He highlighted that the representation of the interests of the V4 will also be important in the debate regarding the EU budget beyond 2020.

The Minister laid down at the same time: he finds that the procedure instituted by the European Commission against Poland is unfair, and Hungary is always ready to stand up for and protect the Polish interests in „the European political theatre of war”.

Government is opposed to liberalisation of family reunification

The Minister also stated that the Government is expressly opposed to the liberalisation of family reunification. As he argued, the Council of Europe announced the programme of the reunification of immigrant families which will, in his view, pose a major challenge.

Liberal representatives of the Council of Europe argue for unlimited expedition, while Hungary takes the view that families should be reunited in their native land, the Minister explained the difference in whose opinion while decision-making processes will slow down in the summer, mechanisms appear to be pushed in the direction of the opening of the borders.

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In answer to a question, he further informed the press that, on behalf of the Hungarian Government, Kristóf Altusz, the Prime Minister’s appointee will have talks on Friday in the State of New York regarding the case of the CEU. He said: Parliament passed a law, and the Government will implement it. He added: they are ready to amend the law, but he has seen no argument recently on account of which the law should be amended.

At the press conference, the Minister expressed his condolences due to the deaths of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Christian Democratic Member of Parliament György Rubovszky.

One million children to receive free textbooks

Mr Lázár told the press that one million children will receive textbooks free of charge in the next school year, while for instance in 2013 there were only 614 thousand eligible children. The State will spend HUF 12 billion on textbooks. He also indicated: also this year, the Government will provide for the meals of needy children during the summer holiday. 208 thousand children will receive free meals, 60 per cent more than in 2010.

Some 100 thousand children may go on holiday in the Erzsébet Camps, while within the framework of the Without Borders Programme, 35 thousand students will be able to travel to different regions of the Carpathian Basin, he added.

The Minister further informed the press that the oral final examinations are under way with some 73 thousand students taking their examinations. Regarding the number of children enrolling in the 2017-2018 school year, he said: 314 thousand children will attend kindergarten, 750 thousand elementary school, 78 thousand vocational secondary school, 5,800 vocational school, 182 thousand secondary school and 168 thousand specialised secondary school.

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Mr Lázár does not expect unexpected turn of events in vote on hoarding law

The Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office does not expect any unexpected turn of events or success at the Friday vote in Parliament on the hoarding law. He argued: in the interest of ensuring transparency, they would have been ready to accept opposition proposals, but “the opposition backed out”. There are still ongoing consultations, but he does not believe that a two-third majority could be secured, he said, adding: Fidesz has the responsibility to guarantee transparency also with simple-majority laws.

There should not be “political straw men” sitting in Parliament, those who have proposals or requests should have the courage to openly stand up, he stressed, with reference to Jobbik’s hoarding campaign. He said: the fact that there are tycoons who provide benefits and preferential services outside the election period qualifies as the acquisition of influence. In answer to a remark, he pointed out that the Government purchases advertising space in open and competitive public procurement procedures, and he is not aware of any party, other than Jobbik, that would have taken the liberty of resorting to this form of prohibited party financing.

In answer to a question, he also said: according to his information, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will not be coming back from Brussels for the Friday vote.

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He further told the press that the law on the transparency of organisations funded from abroad will enter into force on 27 June; in this context, he asked everyone to comply with the law. He also remarked that the Venice Commission supplemented its position with a political declaration, to which Justice Minister László Trócsányi duly responded. The Government is committed to the issue of transparency, he pointed out.

He said: thanks to the pay rises, the pre-tax average earning is now more than 300 thousand forints, while net earnings are between 200-210 thousand forints. People have more money now, he said in evaluation, adding: according to the projection of the Hungarian Tourism Agency, while in 2012 36 per cent of people planned to go on holiday, this figure rose to 51 per cent this year.

He also informed the press that they will implement the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union, based on which the Hungarian legislation relating to the authorisation of online gambling is not compatible with the principle of the freedom of services.

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Significant efforts have been made to improve health care

In answer to a question relating to infections in hospitals, he said that the problems of 30 to 40 years cannot be addressed within just a few years. In his view, the Government has made significant efforts in recent years to improve the state of health care. However, it is impossible to achieve radical changes in five to ten years, this requires the hard work of long decades, he added.

He also said that after the 500 billion forints spent on the development of hospitals in the countryside, they will spend 700 billion forints on the development of hospitals in Budapest in the next few years. Modernisation will reduce the risk of infection considerably, he remarked.

Mr Lázár told the press: as expected, the construction of the super hospital in Budapest will begin before the end of this year. The budget of the super hospital will exceed 120 billion forints. He said it is another problem that many people do not take advantage of the free screening tests.

The Minister was further asked about press reports, based on which, according to the amendment of a decree, mothers may be released together with their new-born babies within 24 hours of giving birth. Mr Lázár said: there is no decision on this, but the issue is on the agenda. In recent years, several organisations have initiated that this option should be granted, he remarked, mentioning as examples, the Birth House Association and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union. In his view, this issue is not for the Government to decide, but for interest representations and physicians.

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In answer to another question, he said he agrees with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s statement that Regent Miklós Horthy was an exceptional statesman. Then citing former Prime Minister József Antall, he added: „I regard Miklós Horthy as a Hungarian patriot”. In his view, it is an irrefutable fact that there were a handful of politicians who saved this country after the Trianon peace dictate. Among these he mentioned István Bethlen, Kunó Klebelsberg and also Miklós Horthy.

Mr Lázár said: there is a major historical debate as to whether in 1944, at the time of the German occupation of Hungary, Miklós Horthy made the right decision to remain head of state. Had he resigned, in the summer of 1944 he would not have been able to stop the deportation of the Budapest Jewry, he said. It is another unquestionable historical fact that Horthy did not stop the deportation of Jews from the countryside, he added.

He further informed the press that the tax authority is investigating a temporary employment agency due to the crime of causing a loss of some three billion forints to the budget. He added: the tax authority cannot disclose names to the public. “As far as I know – I personally, János Lázár –, the protagonist of the case is the Mr Czeglédy who has been the leader of the Szombathely unit of the Hungarian Socialist Party for years”, he said. He remarked: there may be many other socialist cases like this, “there are many people of the Czeglédy type among members of the socialist party in the countryside”.