According to the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, members of the “Soros network” do not only attempt to influence decisions in Hungary, but they also continually try to intervene in the drafting of EU reports and positions concerning Hungary and Poland.

At the Budapest press conference held after the Wednesday cabinet meeting János Lázár said that there are some two thousand activists working in Hungary who are paid by George Soros and whose duty it is to interfere with the domestic political decision-making process. At present, influencing decisions related to immigration is their most important goal, he highlighted.

George Soros’s Brussels office even tries to intervene in the drafting of EU reports related to Hungary and Poland with various textual proposals, the Minister added.

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In his view, after the elections the Hungarian government will have to evaluate these processes on the basis of considerations of national security, and will also have to draw the attention of the European Union to the fact that these organisations intervene in the European Commission’s decision-making process which is not transparent.

In light of these circumstances, the government continues to believe that it is necessary to adopt the “Stop Soros” legislative package, Mr Lázár said.

The Minister informed the press that at the cabinet meeting Prime Minister Viktor Orbán rendered an account of the meeting of the European Council held last week, stating that Hungary is unable to support the Bulgarian Presidency’s proposal related to border protection because it focuses on the distribution of immigrants.

Additionally, the government confirmed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó’s mandate to continue to protest against the content of the UN migration package, while Hungary will not join a common EU position until its twelve-point proposal package is adopted, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office informed the press.

The Skripal attack was also on the agenda of the cabinet meeting. Regarding this Mr Lázár said that in Brussels Mr Orbán proposed the recall of the head of the EU delegation to Russia for consultations. He disclosed no details concerning the case of the Russian diplomat expelled from Hungary.

Government is exploring possibility of extending winter reduction of household utility bills

Mr Lázár announced that the government is currently exploring the possibility of extending the winter reduction of household utility bills to settlements where there is no gas or district heating network installed. He said there may be some 300 settlements where there is no such network, and they will decide in the next few days on how to help the residents of those settlements. He added that those concerned do not necessarily use firewood for fuel; heating methods vary from household to household.

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He also indicated that the formerly announced winter reduction of household utility bills – which results in a credit of HUF 12,000 – may concern some 3,400,000 homes, 500,000 to 600,000 of which are connected to district heating systems. At the same time, there is an overlap as some of these homes also use gas, for instance, for cooking.

He said the government had also reviewed economic figures, concluding that for 25 years employment figures have not been as high as they were in the first quarter of this year, real wages have increased even more than last year, GKI’s (Hungarian Economic Research Institute) business confidence index confirmed positive expectations, and the consumer confidence index has likewise not been this high for some time.

No buildings taller than 65 metres should be allowed in Hungary

He also informed the press that the government will submit a bill, based on which no buildings taller than 65 metres would be allowed in Hungary. The regulation on which the newly formed Parliament may decide would enter into force on 30 June.

In the context of the capital, the Minister justified the decision by pointing out that it would be a mistake from the viewpoint of the protection of the cityscape if buildings taller than St. Stephen’s Basilica, the tallest building on the Pest side of the river, were allowed to be built. He observed that at present as many as three high-rise projects are “posing a threat to” Pest, and the idea of buildings as tall as 120 metres was also raised. The government is ready to resolve the situation even if it involves the payment of compensation to those concerned, he indicated.

From among the decisions adopted at the cabinet meeting, Mr Lázár highlighted that they are extending the deadline for the submission of applications by those wronged in the Szeged Szeviép case until the end of May. According to his information, the liquidator has records of 106 wronged businesses; their receivables amount to HUF 1.4 billion in principal, plus interest of the amount of some HUF 900 million. So far HUF 690 million has been paid to more than 50 wronged businesses in total, he said, pointing out that it is necessary to clarify the responsibility of the Szeged Municipality in connection with the bankruptcy of the construction firm.

Mr Lázár was asked about press reports claiming that the member of an international criminal organisation and a man with ties to the dictatorship in Syria may have also purchased Hungarian residency bonds. He said in reply that residency bonds do not grant a permanent residency right in Hungary, and the national security agencies screened those who wished to purchase such bonds. He is not aware of any abuse, error or negligence, he said, highlighting that both the Office of Immigration and Nationality and the intelligence agencies do their jobs to the highest standards.

The Minister further remarked that those who cry ‘national security risk’ now protect or politically support individuals who attacked Hungarian police officers in Röszke. It is not members of the government who are required to determine who poses a risk and who does not, he stated, asking members of the press to consult experts on the matter.

The Minister was asked about the fact that a former supporter coordinator of the Ferencváros football team claimed in an interview that he was instructed to foil the submission of an MSZP referendum question. He described the story as surreal, denying that Fidesz gave instructions of any kind. “As a member of the government I do not wish to concern myself allegations made by a person who is evidently under the influence of drugs or is drunk”, he said in response.

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In answer to a question concerning the case of Jobbik Mayor of Ózd Dávid Janiczak who threatened to resort to violence, the Minister said that in Hódmezővásárhely – where he was mayor for 10 years – electors see behaviour of this kind as being beneath the office of mayor.