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Coronavirus – Orbán: New Restrictions ‘Timely’ and ‘Precise’

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.11.13.

“Every life counts”, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a radio interview on Friday, while also flagging tax cuts next year.

The new restrictions introduced on Tuesday to curb the spread of Covid-19 were “timely” and “precise”, Orbán said, adding that the health-care system was up to the task of ensuring that all Hungarians receive “decent care”.

Referring to the new partial lockdown, the prime minister said:

These kinds of decisions have to be made when there is a real danger of paralysis in health care.”

He said modelling indicated that in the absence of a curfew and other restrictions, and with the number of doctors and nurses available, “the limit” was “dangerously near”. Currently 6,690 Covid patients are in hospital, 518 on ventilators, he noted.

Fully 400 undergraduate students have been mobilised — and provided accommodation and meals — to drive medics to carry out tests, he noted.

From Lenient to Strict - How the Gov't's Position Changed on Restrictions
From Lenient to Strict - How the Gov't's Position Changed on Restrictions

Even though less than two weeks ago, Prime Minister Orbán said that no further tightening of the restrictions was needed, due to the worsening epidemic situation, the government has announced extremely strict new measures since last week. Summary. In September, the spread of the novel coronavirus started to accelerate in Hungary, which was evident not […]Continue reading

Orbán also noted that 500 secondary schools have switched to teaching online and 208 kindergartens have shuttered. Online learning is taking place for 239 primary schools.

When it comes to distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, health-care staff will be vaccinated first, he said.

Orbán said as many vaccines as possible should be made available. “This should not be made into a political issue.” Vaccinations will be voluntary and people can decide which vaccine “to trust”, he said.

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Hungarian Officials Confident About Eastern Vaccines

As the world is in a rush for a coronavirus vaccine, Hungarian government officials have confidently announced that vaccines could soon arrive to Hungary. The Russian and Chinese products’ reliability and efficacy are still under question, but the government is trustful. According to the World Health Organization, there are now nearly 180 potential vaccines currently […]Continue reading

The prime minister said the government was sticking to its policy of invigorating the “work-based economy”, ensuring that businesses can retain their workforce and make new hires.

In a step designed to help the hospitality industry, the government will reduce the VAT on takeout meals — the only form of service restaurants are currently allowed to provide — to 5 percent, Orbán said. The measure is being taken in consultation with the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Trade.

Commenting on a proposal to suspend business and corporate tax, Orbán said such a move would be going too far and “we need to get the proportion right”, adding that the taxes must be reduced, however, in order to preserve jobs. He added that the government was committed to making “significant” tax cuts next year.

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Hospitality Industry in Trouble: Will the Government's Financial Aid be Enough?

The new coronavirus restrictions are expected to once again impact the hospitality industry negatively. The government has therefore offered tax cuts and financial aid to firms; for the restaurant and related industries 50% of gross wages, for hotels, 80% of missed revenue from bookings. Will this keep the sector afloat? Feast on this In restaurant […]Continue reading

On the subject of making EU funding contingent of meeting certain rule-of-law criteria, the prime minister said he spoke with German chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday and she told him that “Hungarian money cannot be taken away”. “The money will be there, the economy will function, and developments will get under way.”

Orbán added that the draft regulations under the German EU presidency “isn’t really about the law but about politics”.

He said he had told Merkel that if the rule-of-law agreement made it into law, “we would turn the European Union into the Soviet Union” in which conditions were imposed from above “in the absence of any objective criteria”, while “a committee holds people accountable on ideological grounds”.

“We should really be talking about the epidemic and giving immediate help to troubled southern states,” he said.

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Following a trialouge negotiation, the Council of the EU and European Parliament has reached an agreement on a new rule-of-law mechanism allowing Brussels to cut funding over the violations of democratic values in member states. The new deal is much stricter than the one presented in September preventing Poland and Hungary from simply blocking the […]Continue reading

Addressing the issue of the European Commission’s LGBTQ strategy, the prime minister said: “I wouldn’t say this is needless; there should be such working groups”. He added, however, that the timing was not right and decision-makers needed more time to evaluate the proposals.

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New Law Proposal to Make Adoption for Those Not Married Almost Impossible

Right after parliament had approved the extension of the state of emergency, the government submitted an amendment to the Hungarian Constitution on Tuesday. The proposal, among others, states that “the mother is a woman, the father is a man,” and would make adoption almost impossible with a new amendment. The proposal states that a child, with the exception […]Continue reading

Meanwhile, Orbán praised Hungary’s national eleven for its win against Iceland. “We can be proud of our sons,” he said, adding that it was not “just a football match” but “a fight”. Defeating the Vikings in battle “is a big deal”, the prime minister said.

Featured photo illustration by Vivien Cher Benko/PM’s Press Office