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14th March, 2019

Bavarian proposal could keep CEU in Budapest

A proposal from the Technical University of Munich could enable the Central European University to circumvent recent Hungarian legislation and continue to issue US degrees while operating in Budapest, HVG reports.

Under the proposal put forward by European People’s Party leader Manfred Weber, the Technical University of Munich would set up three institutes with the CEU in Budapest, two in close co-operation with yet unnamed, but top category American universities, according to HVG.

Two universities would be subsidised by the Bavarian government and one by carmaker BMW.

Spokesman Ulrich Marsch of the Munich university confirmed on Wednesday that it will sign a contract with the CEU.

He said the new form of co-operation would comply with Hungarian legal regulations, adding that international study programmes are planned at the end of which Hungarian, German and American degrees can be issued.

The recent amendment to the Hungarian higher education law makes the position of third-country universities difficult, as it is compulsory for them to have the authorisation of an agreement between their own government and that of Hungary, HVG observes.

The Hungarian government refused to sign such a contract to allow the CEU to continue issuing US degrees in Hungary.

However, universities from countries in the European Economic Region face no such requirement.

Thus, the Bavarian involvement would outmanoeuvre the legislation through which the government deprived the CEU of the right to issue US degrees, Index writes.

It is not clear whether some CEU courses or faculties would be lost.

CEU rector Michael Ignatieff will proceed to Munich “in the very near future” to clarify the details and conclude an agreement. (hvg.hu; index.hu; atv.hu; hu.euronews.com; ma.hu)
14th March, 2019

Social workers suspend strike

Social workers unions said yesterday that they will not take part in today’s one-day strike by the civil servants and public service employees union MKKSZ.

A union statement said strike readiness continues to prevail.

The decision will not affect the strike by local council civil servants and government officials.

MKKSZ president Mrs. Peter Boros announced the strike in January in response to legislative changes that make working conditions more difficult.

MKKSZ told Nepszava on Wednesday that it came close to reaching a solution with Human Resources Ministry officials on most social workers’ demands.

The most important of them is that the ministry undertook to present a proposal to the cabinet by April 30 on creating a legal basis for concluding collective agreements in the social sector.

For a long time, social workers have earned the least among Hungarian employees, and leading ministry officials also consider their wage demands as justified.

It was also agreed on Wednesday that the two sides will negotiate a multi-year wage advancement programme so that a proposal can be submitted to the cabinet by June 30. (atv.hu; nepszava.hu; hvg.hu)
14th March, 2019

Gyongyosi leads Jobbik MEP list

Marton Gyongyosi will be top the list of Jobbik MEP candidates, the website Alfahir reported after Tuesday’s national council meeting.

In second place is current MEP Zoltan Balczo, followed by Peter Jakab, Tibor Bana and Daniel Z. Karpat.

According to forecasts, Jobbik could obtain four seats at the May 26 European Parliament elections.

Meanwhile, it has turned out that the party is not threatened by immediate dissolution, as the State Treasury has agreed to let Jobbik pay off fines exceeding Ft 1 billion in four instalments, party president Tamas Sneider told HVG. (hvg.hu; hirtv.hu; origo.hu; index.hu; propeller.hu; magyarhirlap.hu)
14th March, 2019

Police ask Szel to explain views on anti-EU billboards

Independent MP Bernadett Szel has been summoned to the police to explain her formal complaint alleging misuse of funds because of the government’s anti-EU ad campaign.

Szel told the website 444 that she was surprised at having been summoned, since the Cabinet Office, which ordered and paid for the campaign, will know more.

In her report Szel alleged that the campaign serves the interests of the Fidesz party at government expense and is part of the European Parliament election campaign, and therefore constitutes a misuse of public funds.

Szel also claimed that an abuse of office has been committed, as those behind the campaign abused their power in giving Fidesz an illegal advantage in the election campaign. (444.hu; index.hu; nepszava.hu; hvg.hu)
14th March, 2019

Polt proposes suspension of Jobbik MP’s right to immunity

Prosecutor General Peter Polt has proposed the suspension of the right to immunity from prosecution of Jobbik MP Gergely Farkas, as he stands accused of electoral fraud.

Farkas is suspected of offering Ft 600,000 to an LMP candidate in a Bacs county constituency to step aside ahead of the 2018 parliamentary elections.

The offer was rejected by the LMP candidate.

Jobbik spokesman Peter Jakab said Farkas’s offer was made in jest, “therefore Polt is investigating a joke”.

He also said “anybody can step aside, and it is at his discretion whether he does it for free or for cash”.

Jakab said the issue is political reprisal, as Fidesz is worried about opposition co-operation. (magyarhirlap.hu; echotv.hu; 444.hu; hirtv.hu; hvg.hu; orientpr.hu)
14th March, 2019

Cabinet wants to host cosmonauts world congress

The official Magyar Kozlony has published a government resolution under which the cabinet would like to host a congress of the International Cosmonauts Federation in 2020.

It has been decided to earmark €1 million for the event.

According to the explanation, the news of cosmonauts gathering in Hungary would enhance the country’s image and would remind Hungarians that next year will mark the 40th anniversary of Hungarian cosmonaut Bertalan Farkas’s space flight. (hvg.hu)

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