The government has decided to build a stadium that can seat more than 20,000 spectators in Budapest for the European Men’s Handball Championship in 2022, head of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás said at a weekly government press briefing. The government has also decided on the construction of a Hungarian pavilion for the World Expo in Dubai next year, Gulyás said. He said parliament was likely to pass laws on both investment projects. Asked about funding earmarked by the government for a foundation established by President János Áder, Gulyás said the foundation had been set up to pursue goals related to environmental protection, which he said transcended party politics.
Commenting on press reports on Hungary having taken in people from Venezuela, Gulyás said the people in question were Hungarians living in Venezuela “and Hungarians in Hungary aren’t considered migrants”. He said the government had said last April that Hungarian families would be arriving from Venezuela. There are a significant number of Hungarians living in Venezuela, Gulyás said, adding that the government plans to bring around 30 more Hungarian families from the South American country to Hungary.
Commenting on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s visit to Israel earlier this week, he said a trade representative office to be opened in Jerusalem will have a diplomatic status.
In response to a question, he said Hungary would propose that during the next European Union funding cycle, NGOs should not receive support from Brussels. One of the consequences of the current money distribution system is that organisations that criticise countries that reject immigrants are the ones to receive significant funding, Gulyás said. In response to another question about whether Hungary had received any of the money promised by the European Commission for border protection, he said only a promise had been made but no money has been received.
Commenting on criticism by Sweden concerning Hungarian government policies, such as the family protection action plan, he said the government wanted to maintain fair relations with every EU member state but it would never leave “harshly intrusive and excluding opinions” unanswered. Sweden has demonstrated a level of intolerance against Hungary which was difficult to accept within the framework of democracy, he added.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to introduce a special version of its Home Purchase Subsidy Scheme for Families, known by its Hungarian acronym “CSOK”, targeting rural areas as part of the development scheme dubbed “Hungarian Village”, Gulyás said. The programme will be tailored to the needs of towns and villages with fewer than 5,000 residents where the number of inhabitants has decreased by more than the Hungarian average since 2003, he said. It will affect 2,031 villages, he added. The new scheme is planned to be launched on July 1 and by Sept. 1 at the latest. The government estimates that the scheme will cost 70-80 billion forints each year, he said, though it could reach 100 billion. And in a bid to make villages more attractive for residents and prevent depopulation, the government has allocated 150 billion forints for its “Hungarian Village” scheme, he said. Most of the funds — 50 billion forints in the first year and 75 billion in subsequent years — will be used for road reconstruction, he said.