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5th February, 2019

Prosecutors find mass fraud in issuing of Hungarian citizenship

The Prosecutor General’s office has confirmed that Hungarian citizenship was fraudulently awarded to hundreds of Ukrainians in recent years.

Democratic Coalition MP Agnes Vadai asked Prosecutor General Peter Polt whether prosecutors were investigating the matter of Ukrainian-Hungarian voters who were transported to polling stations in large numbers during the elections and who gained citizenship through fraud, and whether verdicts have been handed down.

Vadai also asked about elderly Ukrainians who receive pensions from Hungary.

She pointed out that many applicants for citizenship shared the same address, including that of one ruined building near the border, registered as the address of 60-200 people.

Criminals have had access to Hungarian citizenship with all of its benefits, Vadai added.

Polt said in his reply that investigations had been launched in 370 cases, charges have been pressed in 156 cases, and binding verdicts have been issued in 106 cases.

In most cases applicants had applied for citizenship without a knowledge of Hungarian, but obtained citizenship “in a way that raises the responsibility of officials,” prosecutors said.

In other cases, a Hungarian-speaking person appeared at the consulate with applicants but citizenship was granted to persons who do not speak Hungarian. The same thing happened regarding passports.

In addition, property owners submitted documents with addresses with fictitious data on behalf of persons who were not resident there. (hvg.hu; atv.hu; 444.hu; nepszava.hu; magyarhang.org; 24.hu)
5th February, 2019

Opposition parties promise new era of co-operation

A new era in opposition co-operation starts with the beginning of the spring session of Parliament, Socialist and Dialogue party leaders told reporters on Monday.

Dialogue co-president Timea Szabo said opposition co-operation has reached new levels with the protests against the labour law and the Budapest mayoral primary, adding that the Orban cabinet can be unseated only by the closest possible co-operation.

Szabo said that at the opening session of Parliament on February 18, the opposition parties will show together that a new era is beginning and they will do their best to preserve that unity.

They will not return to the “pseudo-democratic regulations” established by Fidesz, said Socialist president Bertalan Toth.

He declined to provide details, saying only that the opposition parties will hold consultations, and “things will not be like they were in December”.

Dialogue co-president Gergely Karacsony said they will dismantle the wall between the opposition parties, which Fidesz is always trying to build anew.

The opposition will also want to tear down the wall between parties and voters and would like to pursue a form of politics through which every voter seeking change can live to see politics be about ordinary people, their problems rather than politicians, he added.

In answer to a question on co-operation with Jobbik, Karacsony said political co-operation must have firm moral foundations, which excludes all extremist, racist or anti-Semitic phenomena, adding that the common foundation is humanism and democracy.

At the same time, he said, they take it seriously that there are parties that want to change their policies and want to be part of the new unity. (index.hu; hvg.hu; nepszava.hu; propeller.hu; hirklikk.hu; blikk.hu)
5th February, 2019

Czegledy indicted for budget fraud

Csongrad county prosecutors on Monday pressed charges against Csaba Czegledy and 20 associates for budget fraud, co-operation in operating a criminal organisation and use of forged documents.

Czegledy is a former member of Szombathely city council, representing a left-wing alliance, who has as a lawyer worked for the Socialist and Democratic Coalition parties.

Czegledy and two others are also accused of committing fraud of Ft 6.2 billion in connection with the operation of Human Operator, a student employment company.

Czegledy, as chief executive of the company, is accused of running a criminal organisation in 2011-17 whose aim was to reduce the taxpaying obligations of the company and its owners.

A total of 21 people took part in operating the criminal organisation, according to the indictment, involving eight school co-operatives, two limited liability companies and one shareholders company.

Czegledy maintains his innocence. (infostart.hu; nepszava.hu; origo.hu; index.hu; hvg.hu; hirtv.hu)
5th February, 2019

Hungary scuppers EU-Arab League agreement

Hungary has prevented a co-operation agreement between the EU and the Arab League because the text makes reference to migration

After a meeting of EU and Arab League foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Hungary is resisting attempts by the EU to make the UN’s Global Migration Compact a reference point in international affairs by incorporating its text into various documents.

Accusing unnamed “pro-immigration forces” in the EU of lying, he told Hungarian reporters that such forces said the UN migration pact is not mandatory, yet they plan to incorporate it into EU documents, despite the fact that nine EU member states did not vote for it.

Hungary was criticised anonymously by EU diplomats on the weekend for vetoing a document prepared for the upcoming EU-Arab League summit.

“If we want to approve joint statements, the global migration package may not be part of it,” Szijjarto declared yesterday.

“We do not support the migration package and Hungary has made it clear that it will resist any attempt to ratify it afterwards,” he added.

However, he stressed the need for co-operation with the Arab League in many areas in the interest of security, stability and economic development.

At the meeting, foreign ministers worked on preparing an EU-Arab League summit to take place in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, on February 24-25. (atv.hu; origo.hu; hirado.hu; hirtv.hu; magyarhirlap.hu; magyaridok.hu)

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