1 million 680 thousand people voiced their opinions according to the Wednesday count”, Parliamentary State Secretary Csaba Dömötör from the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister announced on the final day of the National Consultation.

At his press conference in Budapest, the politician thanked those who had stood up for Hungary. “We owe our thanks to those who took the trouble of going to the post office or sitting down in front of the computer to fill out the questionnaire. Their support shows the strength of Hungarian democracy and that the people of Hungary will never allow others to decide on our fate”, he said.

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With regard to participation, Mr. Dömötör pointed out that the 1 million 680 thousand people who returned their questionnaires is some 60 percent more than the figure for the 2015 national Consultation on immigration, almost 400 thousand more than the total number of people who voted for left-wing parties in the 2014 election, and some 700 thousand more than voted for Jobbik.
He also told the press that 94 percent of questionnaires had been received by post.

“Detailed results will be published at a later date, but preliminary expectations are that a vast majority of participants have stood up in support of the Government”, Mr. Dömötör said, adding that the Cabinet would like to “take action to prevent illegal immigration and to keep the determination of taxes, wages and public utility costs in Hungarian hands”. “Extended disputes are expected on these issues, and this is one of the reasons why participation in the current National Consultation was so important”, he said.

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The Parliamentary State Secretary also stressed that the record number of participants also means that the results of the National Consultation will also be incumbent on all of Hungary’s political players, including the MSZP’s candidate for Prime Minister, “Brussels-touring László Botka”.

According to Mr. Dömötör, the National Consultation is an opportunity for citizens to regularly voice their opinions on important strategic issues, and is a relatively new method even in Europe. “Previous consultations resulted in important government decisions and fundamental principles, such as the principle of work instead of benefits, and the reduction in taxes, contributions and utility charges”, he noted, adding that “the administration’s strong stance against illegal immigration was also backed up by a National Consultation two years ago”.

In reply to a question concerning press reports regarding alleged irregularities on the part of the operators of Buda Castle, Mr. Dömötör said: “The area falls under the sphere of competence of the Prime Minister’s Office, and according to the information provided by the Ministry, the reiew of the enterprises in question is currently in progress”.

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In reply to a question on the ongoing modernisation of Budapest’s M3 Metro line, Mr. Dömötör said the Government was providing all possible assistance towards the refurbishment of the underground, adding that the Cabinet had determined its 137 billion forints in funding in accordance with the value estimated by the Municipality of Budapest. “The Government was also surprised by press reports that further funding is necessary”, he said, indicating however, that the modernisation of the Metro is in our mutual interests and the Cabinet is open to negotiations.