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Hungarian Government, Opposition Close In On Agreement On Anti-Terrorism Measures

By Tamás Székely // 2016.04.13.

Almost all obstacles barring approval of the Hungarian government’s counter-terrorism action plan have been overcome, a government official said after five-party talks on the package. An expert consultation will be held on the package on Wednesday and the government plans to submit it next week, meaning parliament can discuss it from April 25, interior ministry state secretary Károly Kontrát said.

The opposition’s proposals have been accepted in connection with the amendment to the criminal code, the right of assembly and the acquisition of defence equipment, Kontrát said. Ruling Fidesz deputy leader Gergely Gulyás also said after the five-party talks that there are good chances for an agreement to be reached with all the parties.

The radical nationalist Jobbik party said it was optimistic about the upcoming consultation on the bill. Lawmaker Ádám Mirkóczki said Tuesday’s talks were positive as the parties had been reassured by the interior ministry that their proposals would be integrated into the package. Mirkóczki said the government was open to removing two out of the three parts of the bill that Jobbik had contested, namely the restriction of mass gatherings and the passage dealing with defence procurements. Jobbik, however, still objects to the part of the bill under which telecommunications service providers could be punishable for encrypting data, he said, and has asked that the government consult the Special Service for National Security on that passage.

Green opposition LMP party said Sándor Pintér, the interior minister, had incorporated the opposition’s most important proposals into the revised bill. Party co-leader András Schiffer said that if the proposed measures in the final bill are in line with the principle of proportionality, it will be acceptable to LMP.

The opposition Socialists (MSZP) said, however, they would not support the proposed action plan in its current form. Head of parliament’s defence committee Zsolt Molnár said that there were still unresolved issues. One more professional consultation will need to be held and the Socialists will form a final position after that, he added.

via and MTI