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Coronavirus – PMO Head Pledges Regular Consultations with Parties

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.03.12.

The government will hold regular consultations with the parliamentary parties with regard to the coronavirus situation, Gergely Gulyás, head of the Prime Minister’s Office, said after a meeting in parliament on Wednesday evening.

Gulyás said that “in the current crisis it is necessary to build a partnership even with adversaries”. Ensuring that all conditions are in place for combatting the virus is in the interest of both the government and the opposition, he said. He added that parliament’s consent would be required should the 15-day state of emergency, introduced earlier in the day, need to be extended, and asked for the party groups’ support.

Máté Kocsis, ruling Fidesz’s group leader, welcomed plans to hold weekly consultations, adding that “there is no room for political debates over coronavirus”, and called for the broadest possible cooperation within parliament.

Answering a question, Kocsis said that Fidesz does not support suspending parliament’s work because “while others are working, parliament will have to do so”.

Socialist deputy group leader Tamás Harangozó pledged his party’s support to any parliamentary move necessary to combat the epidemic.

László György Lukács, deputy group leader of conservative Jobbik, said his party supported measures against the virus, but also noted his party’s objections such as against the government’s reluctance to close down schools.

Govt Issues Decree Detailing State of Emergency Measures

LMP co-leader Erzsébet Schmuck said that the opposition “wishes to participate in a constructive cooperation above party interests” and fight successfully against the epidemic.

Sándor Burány, Párbeszéd’s deputy group leader, said that “we cannot afford to have no coordination within the government” and criticised the government for “not providing any assistance” to Hungarians wishing to return from Italy, adding that there were no protocols to screen those arriving in Hungary.

featured image by MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák