Judit Varga – Photo: BZT / Nóra Halász

Justice minister calls for ‘smarter’ Europe

"More Europe" is not the answer to the European Union's crises in recent years, Justice Minister Judit Varga said on Saturday, calling for a "better, smarter" community instead.

Speaking ahead of an annual Civic Picnic in Kotcse, in western Hungary, Varga said vowed to launch a debate on the future of the EU aimed at finding ways to avoid similar crises. “Integration should be strengthened where this results in added value,” she said.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Tibor Benko said refugees from Afghanistan would not be welcome unless they arrived with valid travel documents. “It is clear that unidentified persons will not be allowed to enter unless we know the purpose of their arrival,” he said.

Katalin Novak, the minister in charge of family affairs, said the government was making efforts to provide greater support for infertile families, adding that the price of treatments had been considerably reduced. “I trust that more and more people have access to those procedures, and I am not aware that the number of patients seeking treatment abroad is growing,” she said.

Miklos Kasler said: “Hungary’s handling the pandemic is exemplary in Europe; the World Health Organisation and neighbouring countries are all in agreement on that.”

Tamas Deutsch, MEP of ruling Fidesz, insisted that “the left wing has no chance” in next year’s general election. “We have the chance, but it won’t happen by itself; we have to work hard. The whole civic, national, Christian Democratic camp is ready to do that,” he said.

Deutsch said it was not impossible for the ruling parties to capture a two-thirds majority once again, though this would be “icing on the cake”. He suggested that “the difference will not be more than a hair’s breadth and they will not be the winner”.

Balazs Orban, state secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, addressing the issue of Hungary’s coronavirus vaccination drive, said “the vaccine works, Hungary works”. He said that the government was not planning any pandemic-related restrictions. “Lockdown is not the solution; vaccinations are,” he added.

“Hungary is a solid point in today’s uncertain world,” he said.

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