Zoltán Balog will tender his resignation as head of the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emmi). In an interview with the pro-govt news portal Origo, the Christian Democrat politician said he will instead head the Fidesz-funded Foundation for a Civic Hungary, which is perhaps best known for hosting the annual Fidesz picnic at Kötcse, on a full-time basis.
In the interview published late on Monday, Balog said he had discussed the post-election future in two long conversations with the prime minister, and Viktor Orbán told him that Emmi would keep its structure and composition. The Ministry of Human Capacities is the biggest inof Orbán’s government, and is in charge of portfolios including family policy, education, sport, healthcare and social issues.
“I suggested some changes which he did not accept. He offered me a choice: either do the job in its current form or I could have a different job. I have been involved in the ministry’s work for the last six years, and what I know is that I don’t want to continue in this way,”
Balog said. Orbán had asked him for three names for his replacement and would soon make his choice between them, he added.
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Balog said the other task Orbán had outlined – the foundation which provides the intellectual and legal background in the fight against Europe – seemed “very exciting”. He said it was time to do a job in which there was less daily exposure to the public. Whereas he has formally led the foundation run by the ruling Fidesz, his government work prevented him devoting himself to the job fulltime, he said.
Balog noted that Orbán was basically in favour of a low number of ministries, so the number of ministers was not expected to change.
image via Bartos Gyula/Emmi