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10th September, 2020

Hungary orders 218 armoured vehicles

The Hungarian armed forces will receive 218 Lynx KF41 armoured fighting vehicles as part of its over €2 billion modernisation programme, the secretariat of Gaspar Maroth, the government commissioner responsible for the procurement, said in a statement.

Rheinmetall Lynx armoured fighting vehicles will be provided to the armed forces, meaning Hungary will fulfil its NATO spending commitments.

An agreement to this effect was signed at the Defence Ministry in Budapest on Wednesday by General Ferenc Korom, commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces, and Armin Papperger, chairman of the board of directors of the German company.

Of the tanks, 172 will be manufactured in Hungary at a factory set up as part of a joint venture between Rheinmetall and the Hungarian state, which signed the agreement on August 17.

The first 46 tanks will be manufactured in Germany where Hungarians will also receive on the job training. (magyarhirlap.hu; hvg.hu; origo.hu; infostart.hu; magyarnemzet.hu; 444.hu)
10th September, 2020

Ministry supplements action plan

The Human Resources Ministry has supplemented the coronavirus action plan it finalised in mid-August, ahead of the start of the academic year.

Parents may only enter schools with the prior permission of the principal and attend events expressly aimed at parents, according to the revised plan.

Autumn swimming lessons will be suspended in state schools until spring at the earliest. The ministry also proposes the suspension of extracurricular sports classes and choir practices. Additionally, balls and cultural events could be suspended for six months, or at least have attendance strictly controlled.

The ministry also asked that school meals be served to one year at a time - and in separated areas if possible. Alternatively, meals could be served in classrooms. (infostart.hu; ellenszel.hu; index.hu; hvg.hu; pestihir.hu; szmo.hu)
10th September, 2020

HOOK rep calls for SZFE compromise

The National Conference of Student Councils (HOOK) and the Conference of Hungarian Rectors met representatives of the University of Theatre and Motion Picture Arts and members of the board of trustees for talks on Wednesday.

The university’s student council does not consider the board of trustees legitimate so did not take part in the consultations.

HOOK president Laszlo Murai said further meetings will be necessary as only the trustees board members took part in the consultations. (atv.hu; nepszava.hu)
10th September, 2020

Pensioners may get Ft 20,000 handout

Pensioners could receive a pension supplement of around Ft 20,000 to compensate for rising prices, website mfor learnt. Inflation was above Hungary’s 2.8% pension raise in the first eight months of 2020.

Senior citizens will probably receive the payment in November. (mfor.hu; atv.hu; privatbankar.hu; piacprofit.hu; bpkornyeke.hu; infostart.hu; blikk.hu)
10th September, 2020

Greczy wins three libel cases in a day

Democratic Coalition politician Zsolt Greczy did not harass nor pursue the partner of musician Gabor Zsoldos, the Capital Court of Appeals stated in two binding verdicts and the Capital Court in a first-degree verdict.

Pro-government websites Lokal, Origo and Ripost posted articles about Greczy based on a Facebook post written in December by Zsoldos, who deleted the post the next day, saying it had been written in anger. The three losing media outlets must now publish story corrections on their landing pages. (hvg.hu; ellenszel.hu; media1.hu)
10th September, 2020

Majority oppose school armed guards

Some 73% of Hungarians oppose school guards being armed with handcuffs, truncheons and pepper spray, a Zavecz Research Institute poll, commissioned by the Liberal Party, found.

School guards have been posted at 478 public education and vocational training institutions since September 1, but not in another 55. Support for armed guards in schools correlated with a lack of qualifications and loyalties to right-wing parties.

The system was only supported by 22% of respondents, while 5% were undecided. (nepszava.hu)
10th September, 2020

Inflation speeds up slightly in August

Inflation was 3.9% year-on-year in August, up from 3.8% in July, the Central Statistics Office announced Wednesday. The actual figure was in line with forecasts, media observed.

The price of sausages rose 18.1%, the price of sugar was up by 13.4% and seasonal food such as fruits and vegetables were 17.1% pricier than a year ago. Fuel prices alone dropped by 4.7%.

Core inflation reached 4.7% year-on-year, up 0.3% from the previous month. The inflation index for pensioners rose to 4.3% year-on-year, down 0.1% month-on-month. In the first eight months, the average year-on-year inflation was 3.5%.

The recent figure does not support the need for an extra loose monetary policy which is maintained by the central bank for supporting the economy, analysts said. The goal of the MNB may continue to keep long-term interest rates low, but short-term rates high enough to prevent speculation against the forint. (ksh.hu; napi.hu; novekedes.hu)
10th September, 2020

Fitch ups IIB’s rating

Fitch upgraded its rating on the Budapest-based International Investment Bank (IIB) from BBB+ to A-, the credit rating agency announced on Tuesday.

The hike was a reaction to the relocation of the IIB headquarters from Moscow to Budapest which will diversify the activities of the bank in the EU, the agency explained.

Since the last rating review, several positive developments took place: the most important being that the average rating on loans and guarantees improved from B+ to BB- in the first half of 2020, thanks to increased lending to EU-based clients.

The share of non-performing loans is only 1.5% at IBB, Fitch underlined.

Shareholders promised to provide additional capital to the bank by 2022 that will provide a strong liquidity buffer.

In addition, financing sources of the bank are also getting more diversified, the agency highlighted. (portfolio.hu)
10th September, 2020

MNB’s inflation indicator up in August

Tax-effect-corrected core inflation was 4.2% year-on-year in August, up from 4.1% in July, the MNB announced on Wednesday. This indicator is over the 4% ceiling of the target band of the MNB.

Changing taxes added 0.5 percentage points to core inflation which stood at 4.7% in August, due to the lasting effects of the excise-tax hike on tobacco products in July, the MNB said.

The inflation index on demand-sensitive products was 3.6%, while the price index on products with less frequently changing prices was 4.1%, the same as a month earlier. (portfolio.hu; novekedes.hu; index.hu)
10th September, 2020

Wizz Air launches new unit in Catania

Wizz Air has opened a new base in Catania, Sicily, the budget airline announced Tuesday.

The airline previously flew to 15 destinations from the town but the new base will add Rome, Bologna, Venice, Memmingen and London-Luton to its direct services from Catania.

Wizz Air has operated out of the town since 2009 and has served 1.5 million passengers in or out of Catania.

The new flights will help boost local tourism, allow students to return to universities and strengthen business ties between Italy and abroad, Wizz Air underlined. (napi.hu; portfolio.hu; index.hu)
10th September, 2020

BA closes part of Terminal 2

Due to falling passenger numbers, Budapest Airport (BA) has closed part of Terminal 2 at Liszt Ferenc International Airport, the facility manager announced on Tuesday.

The recently opened Pier 1, the check-in area, food court and arrival area in Terminal 2A and some of the departure area at Terminal 2B have now been closed.

Departing passengers can only check in - and arriving passengers only leave - via Terminal 2B. The Sky Court remains open, however. (portfolio.hu; napi.hu; hvg.hu; index.hu; nepszava.hu)
10th September, 2020

Court forbids Ryanair’s ‘Buzz’ brand

The Capital Appeals Court has upheld a first-instance court ruling that banned low-cost airline Ryanair from using its brand name Buzz. The name Buzz was deemed too close to Ryanair’s competitor Wizz Air, the latter, partly Hungarian-owned airline announced on Wednesday.

This ruling is only temporary but Wizz Air has launched a case to make it permanent.

Buzz is a brand name used by Ryanair Sun, the Polish subsidiary of Ryanair, which is one of Poland’s largest airlines. Ryanair assigned its operations in Budapest to “Buzz” in the autumn of 2019. (portfolio.hu; napi.hu; hvg.hu; novekedes.hu)
10th September, 2020

Ikarus to develop electric bus chassis

Ikarus Jarmutechnika, in co-operation with the University of Obuda is developing chassis for electric buses, the bus maker announced on Wednesday.

The Ft 1.582 billion project received a Ft 841 million state subsidy via the Economy Development Innovation Program (Ginop). The products will arrive by March 31, 2023.

In all, four chassis are being developed, one for articulated buses, two for city buses and one with complete body that can be tested in real traffic conditions, project leader Gyula Moor said. (portfolio.hu)
10th September, 2020

Bonusz Brigad signs bankruptcy deal

Bonusz Brigad signed a bankruptcy agreement with its creditors on August 31, the voucher company, which turned ten the following day, announced on Wednesday.

In the wake of the epidemic, the collapse of travel and other service sectors, and the change in shopping habits put Bonusz Brigad in a difficult position, the company underlined.

During bankruptcy protection coupons will remain available and after the process is closed new products will arrive, Bonusz Brigad added. (portfolio.hu; napi.hu)
10th September, 2020

BKK to fine passengers without masks

The Budapest city council passed stringent Public Safety measures after a Capital Emergency Task Force meeting on Tuesday.

City Hall is increasing test capacities in social care institutions, homeless and nursing homes and ordering the mandatory wearing of masks at markets, cultural institutions run by City Hall, museums, libraries, archives, cinemas, theatres, the Capital Culture Centre and rooms at Budapest Zoo.

The Budapest city council also instructed BKK inspectors that they can fine passengers Ft 8,000 for not wearing face masks or for wearing them incorrectly, and exclude them from further travel.

Bus drivers can be fined Ft 100,000 for allowing passengers onto buses without a mask, from September 15, ATV Hirado learnt. During police checks drivers may be fined Ft 10-50,000 for not wearing masks. (atv.hu; infostart.hu; index.hu; hvg.hu; klubradio.hu; hirado.hu; 24.hu)
10th September, 2020

Hospital visits banned countrywide

National chief medical officer Cecilia Muller has ordered a blanket ban on hospital visits, the National Health Care Centre told state news agency MTI on Wednesday. The measure, in force since Tuesday, applies to state and private hospitals alike. (atv.hu; infostart.hu; 24.hu)
10th September, 2020

Number of active infections hits 5,100

Another 411 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus infection, increasing the number of infected people to 9,715. On Wednesday two elderly chronically ill patients died, putting the number of dead at 628.

Meanwhile 3,984 others have recovered, up 12 in the previous 24 hours.

The number of actively infected people is 5,103, 397 more than on Tuesday. (koronavirus.gov.hu; infostart.hu; index.hu; hvg.hu; klubradio.hu; origo.hu; nepszava.hu)
10th September, 2020

Suburban rail network expanding

The suburban rail network HEV will be upgraded, expanded and receive 54 “state of the art carriages” by 2025, PMO state secretary overseeing the development of Budapest and the capital’s agglomeration Balazs Furjes announced on Wednesday.

As part of the upgrade, the Csepel and Rackeve suburban railway networks will be extended underground to Kalvin ter, linking them with metro lines 3 and 4.

The underground railway stretch will run under Soroksari ut and HEV will no longer block off the National Theatre and Palace of Arts from the Danube. The long-term goal is to connect the northern and southern HEV lines with a tunnel under the Danube which will be metro line No. 5, he said. (magyarhirlap.hu)

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