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Regarding the outcome of bids for tourism funding whereby Fidesz-led local councils exclusively won, the prime minister’s chief of staff, Gergely Gulyás, said the Hungarian Tourism Agency (MTU) had been expected to assess all bids on the basis of professional criteria. He added that hotels in particular needed support, noting that the industry had lost out on 3-4 months’ worth of business.
Meanwhile, on the subject of left-wing districts requesting that the state compensate them for their losses incurred during the epidemic, Gulyás said the losses sustained by local councils were “relatively modest” compared with those incurred by the state.
Asked about the Budapest city assembly’s decision to set up a committee to investigate suspected cases of corruption in recent years, Gulyás said: “Any one is free to investigate anything” and wished the committee “good luck”.
Concerning the port and logistics base Hungary is establishing in Trieste, Gulyás said helping Hungarian businesses get their products out onto the markets would boost foreign trade. The government has so far paid off 25 million euros of the 31 million euro sales price for the 32 hectare plot, he said.
Asked if the forint’s weakening after the central bank’s base rate cut earlier this week presented a risk to the economy, Gulyás said the government did not interfere with the bank’s monetary policy. Responding to a question about the euro zone, Gulyás said the government had not yet made a decision on whether or not to adopt the common currency. Though Hungary meets the requirements, the government is well aware of problems caused by the currency’s introduction elsewhere, he said.