The head of the Prime Minister’s Office has called on Budapest’s municipal assembly to decide before November 15 which state projects planned for the city it wants completed. In a video interview published on Mandiner.hu, Gergely Gulyás said the government wants “a clear position” concerning plans for a handball arena and stadium to be built for the world track and field championships. He added that if the city does not support those plans the government will use the funds for other schemes. Referring to the recent municipal elections, Gulyás said that ruling Fidesz continues to be Budapest’s strongest party, and the government parties would have a firm absolute majority in parliament if general elections were to be held now. Fidesz will “not give up on Budapest” and will “continue to consider it as the nation’s capital”, he added. Concerning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Wednesday visit, Gulyás said that the upgrade of Hungary’s sole nuclear power plant at Paks, to be implemented by Russia’s Rosatom as general contractor, was crucial for climate protection and Hungary’s planned carbon neutrality. Building fair business ties with Russia is in Hungary’s interest because “the country, in fact, is entirely dependent on Russian gas”, Gulyás said.
On the subject of Ukraine, Gulyás reiterated the government’s position that Hungary would not support Ukraine’s NATO membership unless Ukraine scraps its education law impacting ethnic Hungarians. He voiced Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s readiness to meet the president of Ukraine, and added that preparations were under way for such negotiations.
In another development, Gulyás said that whether Hungary’s next European commissioner would be in charge of neighbourhood policy or transport, “either will be weightier than the portfolios of any Hungarian commissioner before”.