Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: ‘Law-abiding guest workers’ not to be mixed up with illegal migrants

Illegal migrants should not be mixed up with people that go to another country "under organised circumstances" to work, the Hungarian foreign minister said in Manila on Thursday.

Peter Szijjarto said that illegal border crossing “is not a human right but a crime”.

According to a statement from the foreign ministry, Szijjarto met Enrique Manalo, his Filipino counterpart, for talks and said both countries saw eye to eye that “any given country should have the right to decide to whom it wants to grant entry and whom it wants to live together with”.

Hungary holds the over 10,000 Filipinos working in Hungary in great esteem, Szijjarto said.

The foreign minister noted that the Philippines and Hungary were celebrating the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties. He said the two countries were similarly affected by the recent global security and economic crises, and were interested in promoting peace and a balanced economic development in the world. Szijjarto said that conflicts should be resolved “through dialogue and diplomacy rather than constantly passing judgements and criticism.”

According to Szijjarto, Europe is “in very bad shape” with a war going on for the past two and a half years on the continent and with “political and ideological endeavours aimed at hindering East-West cooperation”. “The upcoming Hungarian EU presidency will work to improve the situation, but it requires peace on the continent,” he said.

Cooperation between Hungary and the Philippines is “the best example of successful East-West relations”, he said, adding that the turnover of bilateral trade had exceeded 300 million dollars as a result of Hungary’s significantly increasing its agricultural exports to the Philippines. He added that Hungarian companies were completing major water management projects in the Philippines, while preparations were being made for starting nuclear cooperation between the two countries.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán - Photo: PMO

Orbán has talks with Donald Trump Jr

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Thursday received Donald Trump Jr, the son of the former US president, in his offices in Budapest, the prime minister's press chief said.

The talks focused on the future of Hungary-US ties, illegal migration, as well as options to achieve peace in the war in Ukraine.

Trump Jr came to Budapest at the invitation of the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is scheduled to visit the Mathias Corvinus Collegium and have talks with the institution’s leaders and students, the chamber said on its website.

Speaker Laszlo Kover - Photo: MTI

Kover: ‘Let Europe belong to Europeans’

Parliamentary speaker Laszlo Kover said on Thursday that the position of Hungary's national policy "cannot be anything other than: let Europe belong to Europeans".

Kover told a plenary session of a forum of ethnic Hungarian MPs from the Carpathian Basin (KMKF) that European people must be given back the right to democratically decide if they want war or peace.

“Let them freely decide who should be allowed to enter Europe and who should not be allowed,” Kover said.

He added that the European Union had a future only if “the European social majority of normality” could also acquire political majority.

The task of Hungary’s national policy and the task of KMKF is to seek cooperation with those “that together with us want to prevent that our nations disappear, and the European Union sinks in tyranny or anarchy”.

Hungary's border fence – Photo: wikipedia

Gulyas: Ruling 'outrageous, unfair and unacceptable

CJEU fines Hungary for EUR 200 million for violating EU migration policy

The Court of Justice of the European Union has fined Hungary for 200 million euros for "not respecting" EU legislations, including those of international asylum and on returning illegal immigrants to their home countries, the CJEU said on Thursday.

Further, the CJEU obliged Hungary to pay a penalty of one million euros for every day of delay in complying with a ruling issued in December 2022, on the country’s breach of the guidelines on asylum and returning immigrants.

Gulyas: CJEU ruling ‘outrageous, unfair and unacceptable

Gergely Gulyas, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, called the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union to fine Hungary 200 million euros for not complying with EU legislations on asylum and on returning illegal immigrants to their home countries “outrageous, unfair and unacceptable”.

The minister told a regular press briefing on Thursday the ruling contradicted European Union law, was incompatible with Hungary’s constitution and punished the country which had rejected illegal migration from the beginning, protecting its own and Europe’s external borders.

This ruling “could never have been passed by a normal court,” he added.

Gulyas pointed out that the decision extended beyond the claim. The European Commission requested a condemnation of 7 million euros and a daily fine of 6 million euros until compliance, whereas the court ordered Hungary to pay a lump sum of 200 million euros and a daily fine of 1 million euros, that is seventy times the fine originally requested.

The ruling goes completely against everything we think about European law, the Hungarian constitution, the protection of external borders and effective action against migration, Gulyas said.

Meanwhile, Tamas Deutsch, the head of Fidesz’s delegation to the EP, also called the court’s ruling “outrageous” and “unacceptable”.

“We are not going to yield to the financial blackmail of Brussels bureaucrats,” he said.

He said that “we’re going to protect the borders and the Hungarian people”, adding that Hungarians had stated firmly on several occasions that “they do not want to live in a country of immigrants”.

Illustration - Photo: Wikipedia

Official calls for EU-level measures to prepare electricity network for EVs

State secretary for industry policy and technology Gergely Fabian called for European-level measures to prepare the electricity grid for the transition to electromobility at a high-level roundtable talk in Brussels, the National Economy Ministry said on Thursday.

Fabian participated at the discussion at the invitation of Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market.

Before the meeting, Fabian also held talks with the board of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) to discuss challenges of the transition to electric vehicles.

Janos Boka – Photo: Facebook

EU affairs minister: Preserving member states’ sovereignty ‘our most important task’

Preserving the sovereignty and agency of member states is key to achieving Hungary's strategic goals and to protecting ethnic minorities, the minister of European affairs told a meeting of ethnic Hungarian MPs from the Carpathian Basin (KMKF) on Thursday.

The support and protection of ethnic minorities “is possible through preserving nation states and their ability to maintain their special connection to ethnic communities, rather than building a European protection and support system,” Janos Boka said.

“The nation as a political community and ethnic minorities are non-existent for the EU, or at least it does not see them as an asset worth protecting,” he added.

Hungary will use the enlargement process and the protection of cultural heritage to further the cause of ethnic minorities, he said.

Serbia could be the first state to join the EU with a special focus on improving the situation of ethnic minorities, he said.

During its upcoming presidency, Hungary will also hold a conference on the protection of cultural heritage in September, he added.

Illustration – Photo: Flickr

Government official: Investment support key in current economy

Investment support is key in the current economic and geopolitical situation, the head of the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) said on Thursday, after the European Commission blocked state aid for a vehicle parts plant in the underdeveloped north of the country.

Istvan Joo said the EC’s decision ran counter to European Union leaders’ new European competitiveness deal and obstructed renewal on the continent.

“Bad decisions in Brussels over the past years have brought European competitiveness to a low point,” he added.

“Hungary has no desire to assist in this endeavour. The government is weighing further possible steps,” he said.

The EC said on Tuesday that it had found that Hungary’s plans to grant 43.8 million euros in state aid for the plant planned by GKN Automotive Hungary did not comply with EU rules on state aid. “Hungary failed to prove that the aid was decisive for the beneficiary to locate its investment in Hungary,” it explained.

Illustration – Photo:

Industrial output up by 6.4 percent

Hungary's industrial output was up by an annual 6.4 percent in April, but fell by 2.4 percent when adjusted for the number of workdays, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Thursday.

Output grew in the food, drink and tobacco sectors.

Month on month, industrial output fell by 0.7 percent when adjusted for seasonal and workday-effects, KSH said.

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony – Photo: Facebook

Election 2024 – Karacsony: Everyone entitled to legal remedy

"Everyone is entitled to legal remedy; it will at least further clarify the situation", newly re-elected Budapest Mayor, Gergely Karacsony, said late on Wednesday after the runner-up David Vitezy's appeal for a recount of invalid votes had been approved by the national election committee.

Karacsony, who ran as a candidate of opposition Parbeszed-Greens-DK-Socialists, said on Facebook that Vitezy had built his entire campaign on not being a candidate of ruling Fidesz, yet he now wants to rely on those people’s votes who also supported Alexandra Szentkiralyi, the former Fidesz candidate who withdrew from the race and her name was therefore crossed over on the voting slip.

Ballots with votes on both Szentkiralyi and Vitezy would indeed be valid votes for the latter, he said. At the same time, he said the “confusion” had come from “Fidesz withdrawing their candidate at the last moment”.

At the vote on Sunday, Karacsony prevailed with 371,466 votes, while Vitezy got 371,142. The candidate of the radical nationalist Our Homeland Movement garnered 38,942 votes.


David Vitezy – Photo: Facebook

Recount of invalid votes for Budapest mayoral election launched

David Vitezy, the runner-up at Sunday's local election for Budapest mayor, said on Wednesday that he initiated a recount of invalid votes cast at the ballot.

Vitezy, a candidate of opposition LMP and the With David Vitezy for Budapest Association, told a press conference that he believed a systemic error had been made, as demonstrated by the record 24,592 invalid votes.

More than 200 constitutencies have reported on invalid ballots, he said.

He said that following the withdrawal of Alexandra Szentkiralyi’s candidacy for Budapest mayor there was no standard directive on how her name should be crossed over on election slips. He said that Szentkiralyi’s name was crossed over very lightly in the 7th and 4th districts and the number of invalid votes was higher than average in these districts.

Under election law, a vote remains valid even if Szentkiralyi’s name is marked by the voter on the election slip if another name is also marked on the same slip, he said.

He added that he was not raising the suspicion of intentional irregularities having been committed, but insisted that there had been a systemic error.

If a recount is not carried out, the resulting uncertainty would undermine the legitimacy of the mayor, he said.

Later on Wednesday, the national election committee (NVB) granted Vitezy’s request. In line with the decision passed with 12 votes in favour and 4 against, the ballot boxes in all constituencies in Budapest must be reopened and the invalid votes reassessed and recounted. The voting slips will be recounted in the offices of the national election office NVI.