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Proposed Amendment to the Fundamental Law Announced at Government Briefing

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.04.25.

After the government’s meeting yesterday, the most important decisions were presented at the cabinet’s press briefing on Thursday by Gergely Gulyás, the minister responsible for the Prime Minister’s office, and government spokesperson, Eszter Vitályos.

At yesterday’s cabinet meeting, the government assessed the war situation. At the press briefing, Gergely Gulyás said that while some member states had previously made pro-war declarations, NATO was now moving in the same direction. “The Hungarian government is still pro-peace, and this position remains unchanged even if the vast majority of its NATO allies are not,” he stressed.

Hungary wants to stay out of the war

The Minister underlined that if NATO allies could not be convinced, the country would still want to stay out of the war and would not want to participate in NATO’s mission in Ukraine. “We will not continue to supply weapons, we will not send soldiers and we will not allow any arms shipments to cross the Hungarian-Ukrainian border,” he said. He recalled that NATO is preparing to be an active player in the Russian-Ukrainian war: the alliance wants to provide financial assistance, arms supplies, and training of Ukrainian soldiers.

Now the leaders of EU Member States are also talking quite openly about the need to send soldiers to Ukraine,”

he added.

Fuel prices

The government also discussed the issue of rising fuel prices on Wednesday. “The Hungarian people are paying the price of war in petrol and diesel,” Minister Gulyás said. He stressed that the government is calling on Hungarian fuel retailers to bring the price of petrol and diesel down to the average price of neighboring countries, as Márton Nagy, the Minister for National Economy, has already said.

Photo: MTI/Máthé Zoltán

Speaking at the press briefing, Minister Gulyás said that these “war prices” would fall significantly when there was peace. “Therefore, the realistic objective and the government’s goal is to ensure that no one can profiteer on war prices,” he said. He pointed out that petrol and diesel prices in Hungary are higher than the average in neighboring countries. He recalled that the government had previously consulted with the Hungarian Petroleum Association to avoid such a situation.

The association also acknowledged the legitimacy of this demand, and the government would like to see this situation become a reality.

He said that data from the Central Statistical Office allowed for monitoring, but if traders did not voluntarily comply with the agreements, the government will enforce them.

Amendment to the Fundamental Law

Yesterday, the government also discussed several amendments to the Fundamental Law, about which Gulyás said that the amendment proposal is already before the National Assembly. He announced that

the amendment strengthens the rules on child protection, requires a two-thirds majority for Hungary’s participation in the EU’s common borrowing scheme, and regulates the military operations of the Hungarian Defense Forces.

Gulyás said that the proposal, submitted by the prime minister, excludes the possibility of a presidential pardon for anyone who has committed or assisted in the commission of a sexual offense against a minor. The proposal also abolishes the countersignature against a presidential decision, he said. The Fidesz faction’s proposal adds that there is no statute of limitations for sexual offenses of a pedophilic nature, no parole, no reintegration detention, and that offenders can never get a certificate of good conduct, he said.

New Draft Law Submitted for Stricter Child Protection
New Draft Law Submitted for Stricter Child Protection

The penalties for pedophiles will be further tightened.Continue reading

The proposal to amend the Fundamental Law also requires a two-thirds parliamentary vote to suspend the EU’s joint loan, he said. The amendment also concerns the military operations of the Hungarian armed forces, including detailed rules on military operations, stationing, border crossing operations, and military operations of foreign armed forces on the territory of Hungary.

Chinese President’s Visit to Budapest

Gulyás also announced that

Chinese President Xi Jinping will be a guest in Budapest between May 8-10.

“It is in the interest of the Hungarian economy to have good economic relations. China is the world’s leading power, stronger than the EU, so it is not worth setting ideological barriers in economic relations,” he said. According to Magyar Nemzet, when asked by journalists about the Chinese president’s visit, he said that there are ideological differences between the two countries, but it is not a good direction to work along these lines. Gulyás indicated that “economic issues and concrete agreements will be discussed,” but he did not give any details for the time being.

Chinese President to Visit Budapest in May
Chinese President to Visit Budapest in May

Xi Jinping last met with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Beijing last October.Continue reading

Via MTI, Magyar Nemzet; Featured image: MTI/Máthé Zoltán

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