Illustration – Photo: Facebook (Hungarian Defence Forces)

Socialists: Strong network of allies, Armed Forces development ‘national issue’

The development of Hungary's Armed Forces is an "issue of national importance", Socialist lawmaker Tamas Harangozo said on Wednesday, as he called for "a safe, peaceful country and a strong network of allies".

Harangozo, the deputy head of parliament’s defence and law enforcement committee, told a press conference that the wars worldwide had shown the importance of strong allies who would be able to protect Hungary’s security.

The Socialists would enshrine into law the “institutional protection” of servicemen, and would guarantee “tax-exempt pension-like provisions” for them, linked to their time of service, he said.

The party would also continue procuring defence equipment, “but only NATO-compatible devices deemed acceptable by professionals, procured with the utmost transparency and accountability, while striving for political consensus”, Harangozo said.

Taking an active role in international crisis management could make the Armed Forces an important tool in representing national interests, he said. The military should also continue to develop its capability to protect civilians in case of disasters, he said.

Harangozo slammed the government’s defence development scheme as riddled by “institutional corruption, waste of money, failed organisatorial measures and contra-selection”. The development programme started in 2018 “has created a mostly dysfunctional mini mass army barely compatible with our network of allies”, he said.

“Hungary fulfilled only the bare minimum of its NATO commitments and is becoming a spoke in the wheel of EU integration, while its strong ties with Russia have remained despite the aggression against Ukraine,” he said.

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