In an interview with commercial news site atv.hu on Saturday, the head of the prime minister’s office said he agreed with President Katalin Novák that the financial recognition of teachers could not be dependent on the receipt of EU funds or the state of the Hungarian economy. “We will act accordingly, because right now teachers’ wages can only be raised using the resources of the budget,” Gergely Gulyás said. “We agree with teachers that they are making too little, and it is only the pace of the wage increases that is dependent on EU funds.” Gulyás said Hungary needed the monies it was entitled to from the EU in order to implement bigger and immediate pay hikes.
Teachers’ wages will be nearly doubled by Jan. 1, 2025, but this requires that Hungary receive the EU funds it is entitled to, Gulyás said. The government has the political will to raise teachers’ wages, “but the left does not”, Gulyás said. He said that if Hungary’s left-wing MEPs “quit lobbying” against the monies Hungary is entitled to “it will be better for everyone.”
On another subject, Gulyás said he saw no need to amend Hungary’s child protection law. “The red line is the aim of the law, which is that children’s sex education is the responsibility of parents and not NGOs, aging Hungarian-American billionaires, or women with man-like characteristics,” he said. “We’d be happy to draft even better regulations, but the aim is unquestionable.” Gulyás said Hungary and the EC had already engaged in “meaningful dialogue” on certain issues, adding that it was possible that they could do so on the child protection law as well.
Put to him that the bloc was withholding 1.95 billion euros from Hungary over the “violation of academic freedom”, Gulyás said the government believed that reducing the influence of the state did not weaken, but rather strengthened academic freedom. Moreover, he added, parliament had already approved the related amendment requested by the EC.