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4th July, 2019

Plans to amend Basic Law under way

Prime Minister Viktor Orban is attempting to further centralise power with a review of the constitution planned for the autumn, Index learned from Fidesz sources.

Although the governing party’s politicians have not spoken publicly of such a constitutional revision, a close circle led by Fidesz MEP Jozsef Szajer is continuously working to review the Basic law, Index reports.

Orban reportedly has firm ideas about the changes: passages regulating relations between employees and employers could be amended to the benefit of employers, and the Basic Law would specify that same-sex couples should not be allowed to adopt children under any circumstances.

The entire judicial system would also undergo changes, and the purview of the National Judicial Council would also change.

According to Index, if Budapest mayor Istvan Tarlos wins the municipal elections in autumn, amendments to the Basic Law will begin, but if he loses, the chances of such changes drop to a minimum.

Tarlos’ office responded to the reports Tuesday afternoon, stressing that the mayor has no knowledge of such intentions to amend the Basic Law. If such intentions do exist, Tarlos wrote, it is solely dependent on the parliamentary two-thirds majority and does not depend on who serves as Budapest mayor. (atv.hu; index.hu; 24.hu; nepszava.hu; propeller.hu)
4th July, 2019

EC to examine Academy law

The European Commission is giving a third warning to the government concerning a new law on the Academy of Sciences, stressing that academic freedom must not be limited.

The Commission says it will examine the law which strips the Academy of control over research institutes. The EC stressed the importance of open and competitive financing systems for achieving high quality research and increasing the impact of funding.

The law was passed by Parliament on Tuesday after months of protests by Academy members and other groups.

The EC says it will continue to closely monitor developments affecting the Hungarian research sphere, and calls on authorities to refrain from making decisions that narrow scientific and academic freedom. (hvg.hu)
4th July, 2019

Asset declaration referendum question approved

The National Election Committee (NVB) approved a referendum initiative on Tuesday which aims to regularly compare politicians’ asset declarations with official registries.

The referendum question was submitted by former LMP politician and 18th District local councillor Daniel Kassai, and reads, “Do you agree that Parliament should specify a regular and compulsory examination of data in the asset declarations of persons legally required to issue them, and compare them with the data contained in official registries?”

The NVB verified the initiative with nine affirmative votes against two dissensions.

If the Kuria makes no objection over the next two weeks, the next step of collecting signatures to support a referendum may begin. If 100,000 signatures are collected, President Janos Ader can order a referendum, and if 200,000 signatures are collected, Parliament will automatically call a referendum. (index.hu; propeller.hu; infostart.hu; nepszava.hu; 24.hu)
4th July, 2019

Gyurcsany mocks Orban

Democratic Coalition president Ferenc Gyurcsany reacted to the European Council’s nomination of Ursula von der Leyen for president of the European Commission on his Facebook page Wednesday.

“You didn’t like Weber, and Timmermans was no good. They were clearly pro-immigration candidates of Soros,” Gyurcsany wrote, addressing Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Von der Leyen must still be elected by the European Parliament.

Gyurcsany recalled that the German politician and defence minister is one of the most dedicated politicians to the concept of a United States of Europe, which was the campaign theme of the Democratic Coalition during EU elections.

As Gyurcsany noted, von der Leyen supports same-sex marriage, and “is unwilling to equate the refugee issue with terrorism”. She even received a refugee at her home, he wrote. (atv.hu; propeller.hu; 24.hu)
4th July, 2019

Gulyas on family protection plan

Four of the seven family protection measures were put into effect on Monday, and state offices have been processing requests effectively and without problems, PMO leader Gergely Gulyas told a press briefing in Budapest on Wednesday.

Gulyas said that interest in the programme has been tremendous so far, and that the government expects to report on greater interest than any other family protection plan yet by the end of the month. (magyarhirlap.hu; mfor.hu; magyarnemzet.hu; privatbankar.hu; hir.ma.hu; propeller.hu)
4th July, 2019

Ministry hails benefits of combined rail-road transport

Rail transport is the most environmentally friendly means of transport as greenhouse gas emissions are lower than in other modes of shipment, Ministry of Innovation and Technology state secretary Laszlo Mosoczi said on Wednesday.

Mosoczi, speaking at the Bilk logistics terminal in Budapest where Ekol Logistics loaded its 3,000th trailer on a cargo train, said that customers require door-to-door delivery and combining rail and freight transport offers a sustainable and energy-efficient way to achieve this. By improving the co-operation between different modes of transport, the number of trucks traveling on Hungarian roads could be reduced by 50,000 per year, he added.

The EU’s goal is to increase the share of long-distance rail freight to 30% by 2030. In the current EU budget cycle, Hungary is to spend Ft 1 trillion of EU funds by 2020 on railway development. Hungary will offer the fastest delivery route for Chinese goods between the ports of Greece and Western Europe after the upgrade of the Budapest-Belgrade railway line, Mosoczi said.

Ekol CEO Akos Kovacs said their customers are increasingly recognising the benefits of combining road and rail transport.

Turkish-owned Ekol is present in 15 countries. It established its Hungarian unit in 2014 and now employs 375 staff. It reported Ft 16 billion in revenue last year. (magyarhirlap.hu; tozsdeforum.hu; autopro.hu)
4th July, 2019

4iG establishes new subsidiary

BSE-listed IT company 4iG announced that it is establishing a subsidiary named DOTO System Europe for the sale and development of the IT and accounting management system of the same name.

Laszlo Peter Galambos will be appointed CEO of the new company. Galambos will hold a 40% stake in the company through his transfer of the license rights of the management software, while 4iG chairman-CEO Gellert Jaszai will hold a 60% stake. (hvg.hu; profitline.hu; napi.hu; portfolio.hu)
4th July, 2019

GVH clears MOL-Mobil Petrol deal

The competition watchdog GVH cleared MOL’s acquisition of five petrol stations owned by Mobil Petrol, it was announced on Wednesday.

The oil company acquired the stations in Godollo, Fulopszallas, Jaszjakohalma, Mezokovacshaza and Pecs.

GVH noted that the acquisition means that both of the stations present in Mezokovacshaza are now owned by MOL. It cleared the acquisition on the condition that at those stations MOL keeps the same margin over its national reference price as in the period before the acquisition. Fuel prices in the Bekes County town would decline by Ft 5-7 per litre as a result.

MOL also announced that it will raise the wholesale price of petrol Ft 2 per litre to Ft 387 from Friday. MOL’s wholesale diesel prices will stay at Ft 393 per litre. (hvg.hu; privatbankar.hu; napi.hu; portfolio.hu; mfor.hu)
4th July, 2019

Alteo sells small subsidiary

Alternative energy company Alteo announced the sale of its subsidiary Alteo-Hidrogaz on Wednesday.

Neither the buyer nor the price of the sale is specified in the statement.

With Ft 5 million in subscribed capital and a 140kw electricity generating capacity, Alteo-Hidrogaz is the smallest unit in Alteo’s portfolio.

The BSE-listed company said that it was not profitable to operate the company. (portfolio.hu)
4th July, 2019

New boss at UniCredit Leasing

The National Bank has approved the nomination of Robert Vasadi as chairman-CEO of UniCredit Leasing Hungary, the company announced on Wednesday.

Vasadi has headed the bank’s corporate, investment and private banking division since April. He started his career in 2003 as a trainee at HVB Bank Hungary (now UniCredit Bank). In 2016, he was appointed deputy-head of the corporate division. (portfolio.hu)
4th July, 2019

Ogreco to launch e-scooter sharing service

Hungarian-owned Ogreco will launch its electronic scooter sharing service next week with a fleet of 100 in downtown Budapest, the company told state news agency MTI.

Customers can use the service by downloading an app and registering online. Fees will be charged by the minute and by kilometres travelled, without a fixed monthly fee.

The company plans to expand outside the inner part of the city (Nagykorut) once its fleet grows.

The company would not disclose its revenue forecast.

Currently, Lime offers a similar service in Budapest. (profitline.hu; azuzlet.hu; hvg.hu; napi.hu; gazdport.hu)
4th July, 2019

Nebih launches campaign against food waste

The food safety organisation Nebih launched an awareness campaign against the waste of vegetables and fruits, it announced on Wednesday.

Hungarians throw away 6kg of vegetables and fruit per head each year, Nebih added.

During the campaign, Nebih will highlight the importance of proper storage and encourage households to use fresh, locally grown products. Various programmes will be organised as part of the campaign. (origo.hu; magyarnemzet.hu; agroforum.hu; profitline.hu; hvg.hu; napi.hu)
4th July, 2019

Bridge open to pedestrians in July

Szabadsag hid in Budapest will be open to pedestrians on weekends in July, the Budapest transport centre BKK said in a statement on Wednesday.

Vehicle traffic and public transport will be blocked, and only pedestrians will be able to use the bridge on Saturdays and Sundays. (magyarhirlap.hu; magyarnemzet.hu; hvg.hu; orientpr.hu; nlcafe.hu; origo.hu)
4th July, 2019

Fischer to conduct Italian opera directed by Allen

Hungarian conductor Adam Fischer will conduct an orchestral performance of Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi at Milan’s Scala on July 6. The opera will be directed by US director Woody Allen.

Allen directed the opera at the Los Angeles Opera more than ten years ago, and the same version will now be produced in Milan. (index.hu; hirado.hu; origo.hu; hvg.hu; fidelio.hu; atv.hu)
4th July, 2019

Suspected bank robber arrested

Pest County police have detained a man who is suspected of robbing two banks in two weeks.

Roland P., 34 years old, is suspected of robbing a bank in Ullo on June 18 and one in Bugyi on July 1.

Using either a firearm or a replica, he is accused of forcing staff to hand over cash and fleeing the scene.

No one was injured in the robberies as the suspect did not fire any shots.

The man from Ozd was caught at Ocsa on Tuesday night by a unit of the TEK counter-terrorist centre, at the request of Pest County police.

Police are questioning the suspect. (index.hu; hvg.hu; nepszava.hu; propeller.hu; 24.hu)

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