Hollosi Information eXchange /HIX/
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1 OMRI Daily Digest - 3 February 1995 (mind)  43 sor     (cikkei)
2 OMRI Daily Digest - 2 February 1995 (mind)  46 sor     (cikkei)
3 Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (jan.27) (mind)  206 sor     (cikkei)
4 CET 3 February 1995 (mind)  179 sor     (cikkei)
5 Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (jan.31) (mind)  268 sor     (cikkei)
6 Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (jan.24) (mind)  337 sor     (cikkei)
7 Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (jan.26) (mind)  303 sor     (cikkei)
8 Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (jan.25) (mind)  428 sor     (cikkei)

+ - OMRI Daily Digest - 3 February 1995 (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

No. 25, 3 February 1995

Minister Laszlo Kovacs, after recently meeting with his Slovak counterpart,
Juraj Schenk, said the chances are good that the two countries will sign a
bilateral treaty before March, an RFE/RL correspondent in Strasbourg
reports. The two met on 1 February to sign the Council of Europe's
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and to
discuss the treatment of the large Hungarian minority in Slovakia. Hungary
stipulated that Slovakia sign the convention as a condition for the
bilateral treaty, which will enshrine the inviolability of the current
Slovak-Hungarian border. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK FIRMS MAKE SIZABLE PROFITS. TASR reported on 1 February that ship
maker Slovenske Lodenice Komarno netted 40 million koruny in 1994
(approximately $1.3 million) and hired 230 new employees. The firm exported
14 cargo ships to Russia, Germany, and Turkmenistan. Meanwhile, Slovak
steel giant VSZ Kosice registered after-tax profits of 650 million koruny
in 1994--an increase of 230% over the previous year. The firm, which
exports to Germany, the U.S., Poland, Hungary, and Italy, produced almost
10% of Slovakia's 1994 GDP. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
Alapitvany tamogatja.

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Reposting is supported by Hungarian Human Rights Foundation News
and Information Service.

+ - OMRI Daily Digest - 2 February 1995 (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

No. 24, 2 February 1995

33 members of the Council of Europe signed an agreement on 1 February to
develop a framework for protecting national minorities, Western agencies
report.  Signatories included Romania, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania,
Hungary, and Slovenia. However, some council representatives called the
document too weak and demanded an additional protocol permitting
discrimination victims to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
-- Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

Teodor Melescanu described the meeting in Strasbourg on 1 February with
his Hungarian counterpart, Laszlo Kovacs, as "very open, good, and
constructive," Radio Bucharest reports. The two leaders also discussed
bilateral relations, including the recent tension caused by what Kovacs
called "the anti-Hungarian campaign staged in Romania by some political
parties." Melescanu said the two sides were determined to step up
negotiations on concluding a much-delayed bilateral treaty. Meanwhile,
Romania's large Hungarian minority continued to be a subject of dispute
in Romania. The extreme nationalist Party of Romanian National Unity
accused the Democratic Convention of Romania of betraying national
interests by offering "irresponsible cover" to the Hungarian Democratic
Federation of Romania, the country's main Hungarian political
organization. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
Alapitvany tamogatja.

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Reposting is supported by Hungarian Human Rights Foundation News
and Information Service.

+ - Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (jan.27) (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)


from the Daily Bulletin of the Hungarian News Agency MTI
distributed by the Department for Press and International Information
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Hungary

H-1394, Budapest P.O.B. 423.
Telephone: 36 (1) 156-8000
Telefax: 36 (1) 156-3801
No. 21/1995                                                     27 January 1995

Hungarian Customs Head Announces Results

        Budapest, January 26 (MTI) - Hungary's customs revenues from foreign
trade traffic increased by HUF 100 billion to HUF 420 billion last year (1 USD
equals 110 HUF), National Customs and Excise Office (NCEO) Commander
Mihaly Arnold said, giving reporters early figures today in Budapest, marking
International Customs Day.

        Arnold said that though this sum exceeds planned figures by HUF 70
billion, the customs office should increase its market-regulating role, which
requires quick passage of the customs law.

        The cabinet plans to discuss the customs bill during the first quarter
1995, and will then submit it to Parliament.

        Arnold said that Hungarian customs have the best results in combating
drug trafficking on the "Balkan route" in Eastern Europe, but it needs more
staff to
cope with the increasing tasks.

Hungary the Most Popular East European EU Applicant

        Brussels, January 26 (MTI) - Hungary continues to have the largest
following among East European applicants to the European Union - at least
according to a recent European Commission survey, published in Brussels on

        In a similar poll conducted six months ago, 64 per cent of respondents
backed Hungary's future membership (now the figure is 66 per cent). Next came
Poland with 62 per cent, followed by the Czech Republic with 61 per cent.

        Hungary received the most support from France (70 per cent) and the
eastern provinces of Germany (79 per cent); its backing from Germany as a whole
was 65 per cent. In addition, about two-thirds of respondents from the
Belgium, Ireland and Britain wished to see Hungary among future EU members.

Cabinet Evaluates the Work of the Government

        Budapest, January 26 (MTI) - The Hungarian Cabinet continued the
evaluation of the work of the government over the last six months, at its
meeting in
Budapest on Thursday.

        In the course of the analysis, that lasted several hours and which cove
all areas of government work, all the members of the Cabinet had the
to express their views about the work of their own ministries and the work of
government in general.

        The debate was self-critical, pinpointing the government's errors and
shortcomings, and formulating future goals and strategy, the State Secretary of
Prime Minister's Office, Elemer Kiss said, at a press briefing following the

        Kiss is deputizing for government spokeswoman Evelyn Forro, who is
currently on holiday.

        The State Secretary said he had not received authorization to provide
further details.

        However, he did say that the cabinet's self-analysis will be complement
by the views of the coalition's parliamentary groups, after which Prime
Gyula Horn will most probably inform the public of these matters.

        The date for this has not yet been fixed, Kiss said.

        In answer to various questions, Kiss said privatization issues were als
discussed when evaluating the work of the government, although this topic was
included as a separate point on the agenda.

Hungarian Opposition Parties to Cooperate

        Budapest, January 26 (MTI) - The leaderships of two Hungarian oppositio
parties, the Federation of Young Democrats (FYD) and the Hungarian Democratic
Forum (HDF), held talks for more than four hours on Thursday.

        The meeting was initiated by the Young Democrats.

        According to HDF Executive Chairman Ivan Szabo, the aim of the meeting
was to transform the existing tactical cooperation between the two parties, who
have been working extremely well together at local government level, into
something more strategic.

        In the future, the two parties and the two parliamentary groups wish to

cooperate, and formulate joint positions, on the questions of education policy,
privatization, and media legislation, and in various constitutional and

Hungarian and Austrian Foreign Ministers Hold
Joint Press Conference

        Vienna, January 26 (MTI) - Foreign Ministers Laszlo Kovacs of Hungary,
and Alois Mock of Austria, reviewed relations between the two countries, and
consequences of Austria's entry into the European Union, in the course of their
two-and-a-half-hour meeting on Thursday evening.

        At a press conference following the talks, Kovacs said he was convinced

that Austria's membership of the EU had advantages for Hungary, while it was
also true that problems would arise from the changed conditions.

        In answer to questions, Alois Mock said Austria wished to represent
Hungary in Brussels, and would definitely work to promote the speedy accession
of Hungary to the Union.

        The Hungarian Foreign Minister stressed the possibility of making use o
Austria's experiences, and remarked that Austria - as a Central European
- has a good understanding of Hungarian problems.

        Austria intended to try to overcome the difficulties that its EU member
would create for Hungary, and to maintain the favourable results of previous
bilateral agreements, and the Austrian Foreign Minister had made concrete
proposals as well, Kovacs said.

* * *

        Vienna, January 26 (MTI) - Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs
briefed his Austrian counterpart about the last six months of Hungarian foreign
policy, and stressed that progress has been made with two neighbouring
- Slovakia and Romania - in settling relations. He gave especially detailed
information about the visit of Slovak Prime Minister Meciar to Budapest.

        In answer to journalists' questions, Austrian Foreign Minister Alois Mo
said he had closely followed these talks, and welcomed the results. He said
better ties between Hungary and Slovakia were also in Austria's interest, as it
is a
neighbour of both countries.

        As regards the tension that has recently arisen with Romania, Kovacs sa
he is convinced that the deadlock in relations can be broken.

        He said the General-Secretary of the Romanian government himself had
acknowledged that his visit to Budapest earlier in the week had taken place at
unfortunate time. The representative of the Bucharest government made no
attempt to make excuses for the anti-Hungarian attacks in Romania, did not
with them, but tried to provide insight into the Romanian domestic political

        According to Kovacs, the change in the programme of the Romanian
politician (the cancellation of his meetings with Hungarian President Arpad
and Prime Minister Gyula Horn) was a clear indication of the Hungarian view.

        He said Bucharest had received these signals.

        "However, it must sooner or later be acknowledged that such events not
only make the situation worse for the minorities, but also cause difficulties
Hungarian-Romanian relations, while causing the greatest damage to Romania's
international reputation," Kovacs said.
A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
Alapitvany tamogatja.

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Reposting is supported by Hungarian Human Rights Foundation News
and Information Service.

+ - CET 3 February 1995 (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

03 February 1995
Volume 2, Issue 25


  Earlier this week, the head of an Organization for Security and
  Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, mission to Chechnya said both
  sides had violated human rights in the seven-week conflict
  between the rebel territory and the Russian Federation.
  Moreover, the OSCE mission head, Hungarian Istvan Gyarmati
  said that the scale of Russia's military action went beyond
  acceptable limits.  Russia answered to those charges in a
  meeting of the OSCE in Vienna on Thursday.  Russia's Justice
  Minister Valentin Kovalyov defended the Kremlin's military
  actions in Chechnya by claiming that Chechen forces had been
  involved in a massive military build-up, amassing modern
  artillery systems, missile launchers and electronic guidance
  systems. Speaking through an interpreter, he also accused
  separtist leader Dzhokar Dudayev of threatening the Russian
  Federation with illegal weapons, drugs and black marketing:

  "False money was printed within the territory of Chechnya and
  the economy of the Russian Federation was undermined by this
  fact and in fact Dudayev used methods that Hitler used World
  War II."

  The Russian Justice Minister said that the fighting was coming
  to an end in Chechnya and that troops would focus on disarming
  rebel forces.  Rebel leader Dudayev has said he would not give
  up the fight.  Meanwhile, the OSCE will decide later today
  whether to send humanitarian aid and another fact-finding
  mission to Chechnya.--Karen Engel


  The Hungarian government announced plans for privatizing the
  country's largest bank Thursday.  The National Commercial and
  Savings Bank, known by its Hungarian initials as OTP, holds 55
  percent of the country's private deposits and finances 95
  percent of all mortgages.  The bank will be sold in three
  phases, domestic and foreign institutional investors can buy
  shares first, followed by small Hungarian investors and
  finally, the social security boards.  The plan reserves 25
  percent plus one share for the government and also restricts
  foreigners to 25 percent. OTP President Istvan Farkas says the
  government wants to maintain lots of influence because of the
  banks key role in the market.

  "No foreign investor can have a share higher than 5 percent
  while no Hungarian investor can have a share of more than 10
  percent.  All these conditions are in accordance with the
  government's intention that no one investor can have a higher
  share of ownership than the state."

  The government says the sale should be done by the end of 1996.
  But other major privatizations are also in the works.
  Industry and Trade Minister Laszlo Pal says 20 percent of the
  energy sector can be sold this year.  The State Holding
  Company says tenders for privatizing the State Oil Company,
  Mol, are due later this month. -- David Fink


  By David Fondler

  A recent ruling by Hungary's competition office found Procter &
  Gamble guilty of false advertising in its local T-V campaign
  for Blend-a-Med toothpaste.  But this is just the latest blow
  in a tooth-and-nail struggle that's being fought in the
  courts, on T-V and in dentists' labs. It's a sound we all know
  and dread, a dentist preparing to do some heavy drilling.
  Childhood memories of cavities, novocaine shots and hours in
  the dentist's chair can be equally painful. But they can be
  Fluoride has been accepted by dentists around the world as a
  potent weapon in the fight against cavities.  The marketing of
  western-style toothpaste with fluoride is relatively new in
  Central Europe.  And with it has come a western-style
  marketing war between American toiletry superpowers Procter &
  Gamble and Colgate Palmolive.  In the most recent skirmish,
  Colgate Palmolive put the squeeze on P&G, successfully filing
  a false advertising claim in Hungary.  In mid-January,
  Hungary's Office of Economic Competition fined P&G about
  $90,000 and ordered the company to pull its Blend-a-Med
  toothpaste ad, which claimed that its fluoride fought cavities
  better than the fluoride in other brands.  Maria Kallai is a
  member of the office's competition council, and acted as the
  ruling judge in the case.  She says it was one of a series of
  legal clashes between the two companies in Hungary, which go
  back for years.

  "In all, there were 21 claims between the two companies.
  Anyhow, for the time being, the amount of the fines is equal
  for both parties, about 30 million forints."

  That's about 270 thousand dollars of tit-for-tat.  Kallai ruled
  that P&G fraudulently claimed that the fluoride compound in
  Blend-a-Med is "more effective than the commonly-used
  fluoride".  P&G's Hungarian TV ad, which ran until last
  December, showed an official-looking man in a white coat and
  glasses explaining this to a mother and daughter.  The spot
  indicated that the man was with the "Blend-a-med Research
  Institute".  Last October, Colgate had its own brush with the
  law.  Acting on a P&G claim, the Hungarian competition office
  fined Colgate for falsely claiming that the calcium in its
  toothpaste helps fluoride do its job.  Both companies declined
  requests to be interviewed for this story, because the rulings
  are under appeal.  P&G, however, did send C-E-T a written
  statement that it stands by its claim that Blend-a-med's
  sodium fluoride ingredient is more effective than Colgate's
  sodium-mono-fluoro-phosphate.  But is it?  The president of
  the Hungarian Dental Association, Dr. Jolan Banoczy, says no:

  "The Hungarian dental community accepts the Hungarian Dental
  Association's view that all these fluoride toothpastes are
  equally effective, including other toothpastes from other

  The battle over the effectiveness of various brands of fluoride
  has been fought in the advertising arena and the dental labs
  for decades, ever since P&G's Crest got the first
  fluoride-related certification from the American Dental
  Association in 1960.  The association certified Colgate in
  1964.  The A-D-A monitors the claims the two companies make in
  ads running in the United States.  But the A-D-A can't be
  everywhere.  P&G, Colgate and other multi- nationals advertise
  around the world, taking their pitched battles with them.
  Over the past year, Unilever has attacked P&G's Crest in
  Britain, and the Polish maker of Pollena toothpaste blasted
  ads for Colgate's Total brand.  The Hungarian competition
  office's Kallai says this type of marketing is dangerous.

  "This blood struggle in the market is negative for consumers,
  because it contains the danger that commercial advertising
  will be dis-credited.  Each toothpaste containing fluoride is
  effective, they are recognized all over the world."

  So as long as Central Europeans use any toothpaste with
  fluoride, they're likely to win the war on cavities. But who
  will win the war between P&G and Colgate is anyone's guess,
  as is the reaction of consumers.


* CET On-Line - copyright 1995 Word Up! Inc. All rights reserved.
  This publication may be freely forwarded, archived, or
  otherwise distributed in electronic format only so long as
  this notice, and all other information contained in this
  publication is included.  For-profit distribution of this
  publication or the information contained herein is strictly
  prohibited.  For more information, contact the publishers.

A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
Alapitvany tamogatja.

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Reposting is supported by Hungarian Human Rights Foundation News
and Information Service.

+ - Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (jan.31) (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)


from the Daily Bulletin of the Hungarian News Agency MTI
distributed by the Department for Press and International Information
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Hungary

H-1394, Budapest P.O.B. 423.
Telephone: 36 (1) 156-8000
Telefax: 36 (1) 156-3801
No. 23/1995        31 January 1995 

Interview with Hungarian Foreign Minister - Uj Szo

 Bratislava, January 30 (MTI) - The goal set by Hungary and Slovakia 
of signing a basic treaty by March 20 is "ambitious but not unrealistic", 
Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs said in an interview carried by the 
Monday issue of "Uj Szo", a Hungarian newspaper published in Bratislava.

 The present Hungarian and Slovak governments "have in fact 
inherited" the demand for concluding such a treaty, he said.

 "Hungary believes that the treaty must address two issues: the 
question of borders and territory, and that of guaranteeing minority 
rights," the minister said.

 "It would be expedient if the basic treaty only fixed the fundamental 
principles of the rights of minorities in compliance with the relevant 
resolutions of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the 
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, while a detailed
 list of 
these rights would be specified in a separate agreement. Should the treaty 
contain these rights in reassuring details, it would be out of proportion with 
its structure. However, this is only a technical detail and Hungary does not 
insist on it at all costs," the minister said.

 "The Hungarian government believes that the organizations of ethnic 
Hungarians in neighbouring countries should not have a right of veto 
concerning the basic treaty," Kovacs said but added that "the Hungarian 
government will involve the legitimate representatives of ethnic Hungarians 
in Slovakia in drafting the treaty, and considers it natural for the Slovak 
government to do the same with representatives of ethnic Slovaks in

 Kovacs emphasized that the basic treaty "would constitute an 
advance over previous international documents" since the latter contained 
only "political commitments" while the provisions of the bilateral treaty 
"would become part of international law and have a binding nature. From 
this aspect, it would imply a major advance for the Hungarian minority," the 
minister said.

* * *

 Bratislava, January 30 (MTI) - The Hungarian foreign minister 
expressed the conviction that "the border issue should not be left open." 
Kovacs blamed the attitude of Hungary's previous government for the fact 
that "during my half a year in office, senior politicians from some countries 
that are important to us, for instance the United States, asked me whether 
Hungary would at last be prepared to recognize its existing borders."

 "If the view that Hungary is toying with the idea of border modification 
and territorial claims is allowed to develop, we will become isolated and 
will not be able to join any international organization," the minister said.

SZDSZ in Parliament Discuss Bekesi Resignation

 Budapest, January 30 (MTI) - The resignation of the finance minister 
and the consequences are problems for the Hungarian Socialist Party and 
the government to face, rather than both coalition parties, said the
 parliamentary group of the Alliance of Free Democrats, after holding a 
meeting here today.

 As regards a draft bill on privatization soon to be submitted to
Parliament, Minister of Transport and Communication Karoly Lotz spoke
about how the relevant situation in Hungary was assessed at the World
Economic Forum in Davos which he had attended together with President
Arpad Goncz. Party leader Ivan Peto said that what was pronounced in the 
Swiss city show the great importance attached to the urgency of passing 
this draft bill.
 Deputy parliamentary group leader Peter Hack said Free Democrats
 in Parliament saw business laws and a reform of public finance as vital in 
the legislation of the first six months.

 He added that the parliamentary groups of the six parties would
forward to one another their remarks on a draft bill on conflicting interests
of MPs, and the Free Democrats hope consultations on the draft between the 
six parties could resume next week.

Bekesi's Departure Pressures Shares and Exchange Rate

 Budapest, January 30 (MTI) - A considerable eight to nine percent
decrease in the price of shares was registered at the Budapest Stock
Exchange after Finance Minister Laszlo Bekesi announced his resignati
on at the weekend - unprecedented in the records of the Budapest Stock 
Exchange. The stock exchange index also dropped by 69.41 points, also

 The Hungarian currency showed a further drop in interbank 
convertible currency trading. The rates of exchange were well above the 
medium rate of exchange registered by the National Bank, and in some
 cases they reached the upper ceiling of intervention, revealing powerful 
expectations of devaluation, forcing the National Bank of Hungary to hold up 
the forint by selling foreign currency.

 Trading was moderate in interbank convertible currency trading,
because of not related to the resignation of the finance harsh monetary 
measures taken by the National Bank, leaving commercial banks insufficient 
funds to actively trade.

Prime Minister Horn Addresses Parliament

 Budapest, January 30 (MTI) - Prime Minister Gyula Horn called for a 
consistent implementation of the government programme rather than for a 
new one. He was addressing a plenary session of Parliament which met
 after a winter recess today.

 The first person to address the session today, Horn said the 
government had assessed its work over the past six months. The tasks were 
examined not only in a six month retrospective but in the whole 
parliamentary cycle, since many goals required at least four years. One of 
the key conclusions drawn in the assessment is that the government
 programme has stood the test of time, it can be maintained and advanced. 
But he noted that there was a need to make some shifts in emphasis, and he 
would be firm in carrying them out.

 Commenting on the coalition he said time was needed for the two
parties to get used to each other. In a note of self-criticism he said that in 
some cases the two parties dealt with each other instead of the country's 

 The greatest lesson of the past six months is that much remains to be 
done to improve the substance and style of government
 Prime Minister Horn called for a consistent implementation of the
government programme rather than drafting a new one. He said stabilization 
of the financial and economic situation was vital. He wants authentic data 
about the country's actual state of affairs and last year's trends in the 
economy for Thursday's government meeting. The situation will be surveyed 
this Thursday and at the next meeting on February 6, when stock will be 
taken of existing tasks.

 The government meeting will also discuss ways to normalize links
between the government and the National Bank of Hungary. Horn said the 
government did not want to restrict the sovereignty of the central bank, but 
as the government was responsible for the processes under way in the
 country, a normal cooperation must be developed between the government 
and the National Bank.

 The government is assembling a programme of modernization 
specifying Hungary's commitments necessary to join the European Union. 
He new directions must be found in privatization and a ministerial post in 
charge of privatization is needed.

* * *

 Budapest, January 30 (MTI) - Prime Minister Horn said the country
has a finance minister as Bekesi remains in office and is fully authorized to 
carry on as minister until February 28.

 He announced that the still open personnel issues would be settled in 
February: a new finance minister, the president of the national bank and a 
minister in charge of privatization would be appointed. Regarding Bekesi's 
resignation Horn said the essence of the debate was whether one or several 
economic policy centres be included in the government.
 Bekesi wanted to run economic policy from the Finance Ministry, but 
Horn said the country has an economic policy centre, and that is the 
government since it must pass the necessary decisions, and the ministries 
should prepare decisions. In this the economic cabinet plays a coordinating 

 Horn also said he regarded education as a strategic issue. He 
declared that the culture could not be managed on the basis of party policy 
or narrow professional interests.

 If we cannot ensure funds for the cultivators of culture, let us at least 
let them create freely, he said.
 He pressed for strengthening public law and order, primarily crime 
prevention. He also called for resuming negotiations on a socio-economic 
 As regards foreign policy Horn said the government continued to 
regard preparation for accession to the European Union as completely 
decisive. In the course of the past six months in his view the country has 
approached international integration.
 He said it was gratifying to see that Hungarian-Romanian and 
Hungarian-Slovak relations had moved forward from stalemate.
 Horn asked Parliament to support the government over the Gabcikovo
hydroelectric power plant, to avert damage temporarily in the Szigetkoz 
area. He signaled that a bill would be submitted to Parliament on this issue 
 On Romania he said the attack launched against the Democratic 
Federation of Hungarians in Romania was regrettable. He said Budapest
 expected the Romanian leadership to more firmly distance itself from any 
questioning of the raison d' EAtre, constitutional character of the Federation 
and the legitimacy of its operation. No major improvement is expected in 
Hungarian-Romanian relations without this, Horn said. He finally called for 
national cohesion which should be displayed in Parliament first and 

President Goncz Sums Up Davos Trip

 Budapest, January 30 (MTI) - "The West is watching the viability of 
the Hungarian economy with benevolence coupled with concern" summed 
up President Arpad Goncz after the World Economic Conference in Davos..
 He said he had met NATO Secretary General Willy Claes, Swiss 
Foreign Minister Flavio Cotti, Jacques de Larosiere, president of the EBRD 
President, Roman Herzog, German President, Republic Alexander 
Lamfalussy, Hungarian-born president of the European Finance Institute, 
and Jacques Santer, president of the EU Commission.
 President Goncz summed up his talks with them:
 "The international banking and financial world expect domestic 
stability and the implementation of the modernization programme in 
Hungary. All have called for a continuation of public finance reform. They 
require a transparent privatization whose frameworks and terms must be 

Peto on Horn's Speech in Parliament: Not All Points Endorsed

 Budapest, January 30 (MTI) - Gyula Horn delivered his own address
in Parliament this afternoon, not that of the coalition, said Ivan Peto, 
president of the Alliance of Free Democrats, head of the parliamentary 
group of the party, said today.
 He said his party partly agreed and partly disagreed with what was 
said in the speech.
 The Free Democrats do not, for example, agree with the Prime Minister's 
idea of setting up a ministry for privatization.
 Peto briefed reporters after meeting President Goncz, who saw 
coalition party heads in his office for a 60 minute meeting.
 President Goncz invited Horn and Peto to give an account of their
 experiences at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

 Peto said the meeting with President Goncz had not featured 
domestic issues or personnel matters.

Katona Holds Talks in Germany

 Bonn, January 30 (MTI) - Bela Katona, minister without portfolio in 
charge of supervising the secret services, has opened talks in Germany at 
the invitation of Bernd Schmidbauer, state minister coordinating the activities
of German secret services.

 Katona is expected to study the work of special German services and 
hold talks about the possibilities of bilateral cooperation.
 A press conference is due to be staged on Wednesday, the last day of 
the visit, to sum up the results.

A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
Alapitvany tamogatja.

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           [*]   [*]  [*]   [*]  [*]  [*]  [*]    
           [*]   [*]  [*]   [*]  [*]   [*] [*]

Reposting is supported by Hungarian Human Rights Foundation News
and Information Service.

+ - Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (jan.24) (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)


>From the Daily Bulletin of the Hungarian News Agency MTI
distributed by the Department for Press and International
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Hungary

H-1394, Budapest P.O.B. 423.
Telephone: 36 (1) 156-8000
Telefax: 36 (1) 156-3801
No. 18/199524 January 1995

PM Horn Meets Heads of Privatization Organizations

Budapest, January 23 (MTI) - Prime Minister Gyula Horn today met
the heads of the organizations that are in charge of privatization
in Hungary. The analysis of the present state of the privatization
process is part of the government's assessment of its first six
months in office. The prime minister was accompanied by Finance
Minister Lszl Bkesi, Minister of Industry and Trade Lszl Pl, and
Minister of Transport, Telecommunicationsand Water Management Kroly
Lotz. The meeting was also attended by the heads of the
State Property Agency, the State Holding Company, and the Treasury
Asset-Handling Organization.

After the meeting Horn told the press that the Cabinet regards
privatization as a key issue as it determines the country's
financial-economic situation to a great extent.

 The prime minister was briefed on the activities of these
organizations over the last four years. To date, 50 per cent of the
state's assets have been sold off - 25 per cent to foreigners. The
gross revenue from privatization amounts to HUF 426 billion (1 U.S.
dollar  110 forints). Of this sum, 10 per cent was consumed by the
budget. Horn pointed to the fact that privatization costs have been
growing rapidly over the last four years. The government intends to
pay particular attention to the privatization of banks, gas service
companies and other companies of strategic importance, e.g. the
Hungarian Electric Works Rt, the MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Industry
Rt, the MAT==C1V Telecommunications Rt, and the Antenna Hungaria.

 The privatization of the over 1,000-billion forints worth of state
assets is proceeding well, journalists were told. In Horn's view,
by the end of the government's term in office (1998), two thirds of
the economy may be in private hands. However, he stressed that the
government's programme allows privatization only at fair prices,
and with capital-raising and employment obligations imposed on the
purchasers. The privatization of firms of strategic importance
should be prepared with the country's economic interests in mind,
Horn said.

 The prime minister stressed: privatization must be implemented on
the basis of a comprehensive economic concept and programme, and
carried out by institutions up to the task.

 Privatization will be on the cabinet's agenda at its meeting on
January 26. When the cabinet has reached a decision on this issue,
the prime minister will start consultative talks with the six
parliamentary parties. The government considers it important to
include the opposition parties in the privatisation process, in
order to gain their support.

 Gyrgy Surnyi, the nominee for the post of the president of the
National Bank of Hungary, has laid down many conditions, Horn said,
which have been only partly discussed. Hopefully, these questions
will be cleared up next week.

Gl Holds Talks with MPs Representing Hungarians in Slovakia

 Budapest, January 23 (MTI) - The Hungarian government must
determine its policy sovereignty, but with consideration of the
opinions of the legitimate organizations of cross-border
Hungarians, Speaker of Hungarian Parliament Zoltn Gl said after his
talks on Monday with 17 Hungarian parliamentary deputies from

 The Slovak delegation is in Budapest at Gl's invitation. It
includes Mikl.Duray, president of the Coexistence party,  president
of the Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement, and  A. Nagy,
president of the Hungarian Civic Party.

 Gl pointed out: The government in power must acknowledge that the
legitimate organizations of Hungarian communities beyond the
borders form their policies independently. At the same time, it has
to help them solve problems of vital importance. The Hungarian-
Slovak basic treaty was only roughly touched upon at the meeting,
Gl said. He voiced his agreement with a remark made by a member of
the delegation, which stated that the basic treaty should not be a
final goal, but instead it should form the basis of deeper, more
detailed cooperation in the future.

 During their two-day visit, the Slovak delegates will meet
Hungarian President, Prime Minister Gyula Horn, Foreign Minister
Kovacs, and the leaders of Hungarian parliamentary groups.

Minister of Industry and Trade Visits Austria

 Budapest, January 23 (MTI) - Hungarian Minister of Industry and=

Trade LP began his visit to Austria on Monday in Burgen land.

 At the Hegyeshalom-Nickelsdorf border crossing-station, the
minister held talks with Austrian customs officials on the
difficulties in passenger traffic, and in goods transport caused by
Austria's membership, since January 1, in the European Union.

 Both during the talks at the border, and later on with the leaders
of Burgenland province, Minister Pl called for the upholding of as
many rules as possible which were previously concluded, but have
now lost their validity.

 This will depend mainly on a decision by the European Union,
however, the Austrian partners said they understand this request,
and support its effort, Pl said.

 The deputy leader of Burgenland province, Gerhard Jellasitz,
promised that the government of the province will support the
easing of work permit procedures for Hungarians working at shipping
firms on the Austrian side.

 On Tuesday, Minister P=E1l and Austrian Minister of Finance Ferdin
and Lacina are to open a one-day conference on privatization of the
Hungarian energy industry.

Balladur and Horn Issue Joint Appeal to Russian PM on Chechnya

 Budapest, January 23 (MTI) - Edouard Balladur of France, and Gyula
Horn of Hungary, as prime ministers of the countries that currently
fill the presidencies of the European Union and the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), issued a joint
appeal on Chechnya to Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin,
forwarded by the Moscow embassies of the two countries on Monday,
the spokesman's office of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry informed

 Balladur and Horn stress they will not shut their eyes to the
serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian
law, the in tensity of fighting and destruction, the suffering of
the civilian population, and the high number of victims in

 They stress that the means to a peaceful settlement of the Chechen
conflict must be found by respecting the sovereignty and
territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, and the principles
of the United Nations and OSCE.

 Only this can guarantee harmonious development of cooperation and=
the upholding of European stability.

 The two prime ministers were satisfied to note that Russia gave a=
positive reply to the issue of the OSCE sending a mission to the
conflict site.

 The task of the mission will be to examine ways to resolving the
crisis, with particular attention on respect for human rights, the
restoration of constitutional order, and the preparation of free
elections in Chechnya.

 Edouard Balladur and Gyula Horn voiced their hope that the
readiness reflected in the proposals of the Russian prime minister
made on January 17, and his appeal for a cease-fire, will soon lead
to a cessation of fighting, the smooth flow of humanitarian aid for
the population and the opening of talks.

Hungarian Parliamentary Parties on HDUR

 Budapest, January 23 (MTI) - The six Hungarian parliamentary
parties - the Hungarian Socialist Party, the Alliance of Free
Democrats, the Christian Democratic People's Party, the Hungarian
Democratic Forum, the Federation of Young Democrats and the
Independent Smallholders Party - on Monday issued a joint
statement, in which they express shock and anxiety over the
Romanian manifestations regarding the policy and status of the
Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (HDUR).

 The statement, made public at a press conference, sets down that
the attack against the HDUR also endangers the Romanian
democratization process.

 The six Hungarian parliamentary parties regarded as
incomprehensible the January 20 statement of the Romanian
government, which called on the HDUR to disband its National Local
Government Council.

 The remarks that call for banning the HDUR were also received with

 The six parties state: "According to our evaluation, the policy of
the HDUR, which works as the legitimate organization of Romanian
Hungarians, fully accords to the requirements of a democratic
law-government state accepted in Europe, and to the prescriptions
of the Romanian constitution and laws.

 The six Hungarian parliamentary parties have always accepted the=
political and legal defence goals of the HDUR as well-founded and
worthy of support, and continue to regard them in this way.

 These goals are set down in clear, unanimous programmes and bills,
which are in concert with the requirements of a law-governed state,
the relevant international norms, including the Local Government
Charter of the Council of Europe, for the signing of which Romania
has accepted an obligation.

 However, certain extremist Romanian press organs and politicians=
replied to these goals with suspicion, insinuations, and

 The Hungarian parties learned with regret that responsible
Romanian state and government factors have now also joined in this

 "We can only express our hope that the Romanian government will
re-examine its position, and that the Romanian minority policy of
the future will not be determined by this approach.

 "We are confident that the Romanian government will begin a public
and democratic dialogue with representatives of the Romanian
Hungarians as soon as possible, regarding implementation of the
goals and efforts they have formulated.

 "We further hope that the mentioned discriminatory manifestations
will not harmfully influence the Hungarian-Romanian inter-state
dialogue and cooperation that has emerged.

 "At the same time, we hope that the Romanian democratic forces
will support enforcement of the international obligations accepted
by the Romanian government," the six parties stress in their

Hungarian-Romanian Talks - Press Conference

 Budapest, January 23 (MTI) - The Hungarian government and public=

are deeply worried that the Romanian government would like to
interfere into the internal structure of a Romanian parliamentary
party, and that the intention to ban the Hungarian Democratic Union
of Romania (HDUR) is growing stronger, political State Secretary at
the Hungarian Prime Minister's Office Csaba Tabajdi said.

 Tabajdi held a joint press conference in Budapest on Monday with=

Viorel Hrebenciuc, general-secretary of the Romanian government,
who headed a delegation here for talks today.

 Tabajdi said there were no elements in the creation of the HDUR's=

National Local Government Council that contradict either Romanian
laws or the Local Government Charter of the Council of Europe.

 At the same time, he said the talks on Monday also indicate that=

discussions can be held in a European manner even amidst tension,
without the need for both sides pretending that everything is in
order as regards bilateral relations.

 Hrebenciuc said there was full agreement between the sides in that
dialogue is the only road leading to success.

 He denied that the Romanian government is interfering into the
affairs of the HDUR. In his view, the Romanian government
communique only called on the HDUR to observe lawfulness.

 Hrebenciuc said he does not consider the statement made by the=

Romanian minister of Justice, on the existence of the circumstances
allowing the banning of the HDUR, as the position of his
government, only as a personal opinion of the minister.

 Tabajdi said that, apart from the tension surrounding the HDUR,
talks were held on the possibility of signing a minority protection
contract, setting up a Hungarian-Romanian minority protection joint
committee, and the chances of signing the Council of Europe
framework agreement by February 1.

 The Hungarian state secretary deemed it extremely important that
the Romanian government had changed its earlier position, and was
already to hold international talks on these topics, as until now
it had considered the mentioned issues exclusively as internal

Hungarian Foreign Minister on International Tendencies

 Budapest, January 23 (MTI) - The international processes
favourable for Hungary are expected to continue. The most important
of these are the preparations for the enlargement of the
Euro-Atlantic integration towards the East, and the lessening of
reservations in the European Union and NATO regarding that
enlargement, Hungarian Foreign Minister Kovacs said at a conference
for the staff of the Foreign Ministry on Monday.

 According to Kovacs, several international factors that are
unfavorable to Hungary will also remain.

 Among these, he mentioned the still unresolved South Slav
conflict, and that the protracted crisis continues to carry the
danger of expanding.

 Kovacs said that 1995 will not be the year of spectacular action
in Hungarian foreign policy, rather the year for consistent
building work.

 Budapest will devote care to building bilateral relations with the
countries that play a decisive role in the European Union, for
instance, the states that will fill the presidency over the next 18
months, and the new members: Austria, Sweden and Finland.

 Hungarian diplomacy will also give priority treatment to the
fostering of relations with the United States, Canada, Japan, the
Republic of Korea, the Southeast Asian region in general, Israel
and the Arab states.

 The events in Central and Eastern Europe will also be in the focus
of Hungarian diplomacy. In proportion to its potential, Hungary
will continue to strive to ease tension, build confidence and
expand relations with the neighbouring countries.

A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
Alapitvany tamogatja.

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           [*]   [*]  [*]   [*]  [*]  [*]  [*]    
           [*]   [*]  [*]   [*]  [*]   [*] [*]

Reposting is supported by Hungarian Human Rights Foundation News
and Information Service.

+ - Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (jan.26) (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)


from the Daily Bulletin of the Hungarian News Agency MTI
distributed by the Department for Press and International Information
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Hungary

H-1394, Budapest P.O.B. 423.
Telephone: 36 (1) 156-8000
Telefax: 36 (1) 156-3801
No. 20/1995                                                             26 Janu
ary 1995

Hungarian Press Review

        Budapest, January 25 (MTI) - Nepszabadsag - Geoffrey Sachs, world-
famous Harvard professor and inventor of the "shock therapy" theory, describes
the past five years in Central and Eastern Europe as a period of missed
stressing the importance of radical reforms to mitigate the economic and social
problems of the region. Where indeed employed, shock therapy proved useful, he
says, mentioning the Czech Republic and Poland as beneficiaries from
economic development the changes in the distributory system.

        The countries that have shrunk back from rapid and deep transformation,

including Hungary, are struggling with a burden of growing problems which
in disillusionment and social tensions, the professor explains. In his view,
application of shock therapy played a key role in Poland's exemption from
part of its debts. Hungary could be dynamically developing if it had taken a
course and really transform its economy, says Professor Sachs. (pages 1 and 6)

        - Nepszava - "When I heard that the Hungarian Socialist Party's
parliamentary group will hold a session on Saturday, I decided I would not go
Davos," Finance Minister Laszlo Bekesi says in an interview with the paper.
Instead of him, administrative State Secretary of Finance Tibor Draskovics will
Originally, Hungary was to be represented at the usual annual world-economic
forum in Davos by President Arpad Goncz and the finance minister.

        At this Thursday's session the cabinet will discuss privatization, whic
currently belongs to Bekesi's scope of authority. The Saturday session of the
Socialist parliamentary group will have, among other things, the establishment
new ministries on the agenda. The session, at which Bekesi will deliver an
as well, is being awaited with great expectations, the paper reports. (page 1)
        Budapest, January 25 (MTI) - Magyar Hirlap - Unconfirmed reports say
Imre Szokai, former deputy state secretary of foreign affairs, and Andras
head of the World Economic Research Institute, are most likely to be appointed
ministers to the currently planned departments of privatization and European
integration, respectively, the paper reports. (pages 1 and 3)

Economic Performance in 1994

        Budapest, January 25 (MTI-ECONEWS) - According to preliminary
estimates, industrial production rose by 9.5 per cent in volume terms in 1994
compared to 1993, president of the Central Statistical Office (CSO) Gyorgy
Vukovich said on Tuesday at a press conference on major economic trends in

        Industrial producer prices rose 11.4 by per cent in 1994. Investment to
HUF 750 billion last year, which represents a rise of 5-6 per cent in volume

        Agricultural production was up 1.7 per cent over 1993. Within that figu
crop production saw an increase of 13.4 per cent and animal breeding fell by
per cent. The agricultural consumption of industrial products grew by 20 per

        Retail trade, which accounts for half of private consumption, fell by 5
-6 per
cent, while total private consumption remained at the same level as in 1993.

        Average net wages were HUF 22,700, up 22-25 per cent on 1993. The
employment level of companies employing more than 20 people fell by 5.8 per
cent. Employment on the national level decreased 2-3 per cent, preliminary
estimates show. No figure is available on companies employing less than ten

        GDP grew last year, but a preliminary calculation of GDP will not be
available until late February.

        According to estimates by the Economic Research Institute, roughly 30 p
cent of GDP is produced by the black market. CSO officials confirmed this
figure at
the press conference.

        The volume of both exports and imports grew. The foreign trade balance
expected to show a deficit of well above USD 3 billion.
Meciar Meets Hungarian PM, President and Parliament Speaker

        Budapest, January 25 (MTI) - A two-hour discussion was held at
Parliament this morning between Hungarian and Slovak delegations led by heads
of government Gyula Horn and Vladimir Meciar.

        Meciar, in Hungary for an official visit, was received with military ho
Kossuth Lajos Square in front of Parliament.

        Horn and Meciar agreed to inform journalists about their talks only at
international press conference this afternoon. They apparently discussed Danube
water sharing.

        President Arpad Goncz saw Meciar after the prime ministerial talks. He
later told reporters he hoped that Meciar's current visit marked the
victory of common sense in relations between the two countries; the recognition
that they cannot do without one another, that the minorities represent a link
between them and that both countries are heading for Europe. It is much easier
proceed hand in hand, Goncz said.

        The president believed a change would soon be noticeable in the cultura
economic, and political relations between Hungary and Slovakia, as well as with
minorities, which are so important to Hungary. He said he saw a sincere
in both countries to resolve minority problems to ensure their survival.

* * *

        Budapest, January 25 (MTI) - At his meeting with the Slovak prime
minister, Goncz stressed, "The time has come to realize our common objectives;
regular political consultations are in the interests of Hungary and Slovakia
Both countries are guided by the wish to maintain good-neighbourly relations,
their interdependence is a geopolitical reality. He said the two countries also
shared the aim of joining European integration structures and building market
economies and democratic societies. In view of their common goals, it is
indispensable that decisions be made on the basis of common sense. Good-
neighbourly links are also important for Euroatlantic integration, since these
organizations will not accept countries which have unsettled disputes with
neigbhours, Goncz said.

        According to the president, it would be naive to think that all dispute
s can
be resolved overnight, nor can settlement be expected from the signing of an
agreement, which may rather signal the beginning of a process.

        The Slovak prime minister emphasized Slovakia gives priority to
developing relations with Hungary, and it was not accidental that his first
trip was to Hungary. He reaffirmed the aim of Bratislava to become increasingly
involved in European integration.

        With regard to the minorities, Meciar told Goncz he would have direct t
with delegates of ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia on Friday. He also said his
government regards all valid European agreements as binding, and the Council of
Europe can check Slovakia's compliance with these norms.

* * *

        Budapest, January 25 (MTI) - Following his talks with the Hungarian
President, Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar was received by the Speaker of
the Hungarian Parliament, Zoltan Gal.

        Speaking to MTI, Gal said the talks with the Slovak Prime Minister had
been conducted in a very good atmosphere.

        Among the topics discussed was cooperation between the two parliaments.

Prime Minister Meciar confirmed an invitation to visit the Slovak Parliament in
Bratislava, that the Speaker of the Slovak Parliament had forwarded to Gal.

        During the meeting, Gal summarized what he had experienced during the
two-day visit to Budapest by a delegation of Hungarian members of the Slovak

        One of the most important lessons, he said, is that the Hungarians in
Slovakia would like to see an improvement in bilateral relations, and it is
their hope
that a democratic and economically strong Slovakia can become a member of the
European Union as soon as possible.

        At the end of his visit to Hungary, the Slovak Prime Minister laid a wr
eath at
the Memorial for Hungarian Heroes.

Horn and Meciar Hold Joint Press Conference

        Budapest, January 25 (MTI) - Numerous agreements were reached at the
Hungarian-Slovak prime ministerial meeting in Budapest, according to Hungarian
Prime Minister Gyula Horn and Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar.

        The two politicians reported the results of their talks at an internati
press conference on Wednesday.

        Horn said they had agreed that the basic treaty between the two countri
should include a declaration about the inviolability of borders, the exclusion
territorial demands, and assurances about protection of the rights of the

        Budapest proposes that the basic treaty should make reference to minori
rights, but parallel with this a separate treaty dealing with this matter
should be
prepared, to be signed at the same time as the basic treaty.

        Both the Hungarian and the Slovak prime ministers would like to conclud
the basic treaty by March 21, the date of the opening of the Conference on
European Stability.

        Both sides also agreed that the foreign ministers of the two countries
should jointly sign the minority protection framework agreement of the Council
Europe in Strasbourg on February 1, thereby indicating their joint commitment
this matter.

        As regards the question of the Gabcikovo power plant, the prime ministe
outlined a package containing three main elements to be treated as a unified

        According to this plan, the Slovaks would ensure a flow of water of 40
metres per second to the Moson Danube branch which at the moment is not
receiving enough water due to the diversion of the river.

        The side-channel (seepage channel) would receive 3 cubic metres of wate
per second.

        In return, Hungary is ready to build an underwater weir at the Danube's

1,843rd river kilometre, provided the Hungarian Parliament gives its approval.

        As the third element in this package, Hungary has asked the Slovaks to
ensure that 400 cubic metres of water per second will flow into the main
instead of the 150-200 cubic metres at present.

Hrebenciuc Meets Members of Parliament's Foreign Affairs and
Human Rights Committees

        Budapest, January 25 (MTI) - The Romanian government's general-
secretary, Viorel Hrebenciuc, today met members of the Hungarian Parliament's
Foreign Affairs and Human Rights and Minority Affairs Committees.

        The opposition members of the two committees did not attend the meeting
in protest over the campaign launched in Romania over the last few days against
the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (HDUR).

        Following the meeting, which lasted two and a half hours instead of the

planned 60 minutes, all Hrebenciuc told the press was that considerable
was placed on maintaining trust on both sides, in order to make it possible to
up the areas of disagreement between Hungary and Romania.

        The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Matyas Eorsi, said the f
signs are already apparent that the Romanian government is endeavouring to
revise the comments which led to a loss in confidence.

        (The Romanian government called on the HDUR to disband its national
local government council, in a statement on January 20.)

        However, Hungary does not accept the explanation that the Romanian
Minister of Justice was merely expressing his own personal opinion when he
threatened to ban the HDUR.

        "A politician can only voice political opinions," Eorsi said.

        Eorsi also said the Hungarian politicians attending the talks had inqui
about the laws which the local government council of the HDUR contravenes.

        The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee said that, in the end, Mr
+ - Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (jan.25) (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)


from the Daily Bulletin of the Hungarian News Agency MTI
distributed by the Department for Press and International Information
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Hungary

H-1394, Budapest P.O.B. 423.
Telephone: 36 (1) 156-8000
Telefax: 36 (1) 156-3801
No. 19/1995                                                     25 January 1995

Hrebenciuc's Meetings Cancelled with Horn and Goncz

        Budapest, January 24 (MTI) - Romanian Government Secretary-
General Viorel Hrebenciuc's meetings with Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula
Horn and President Arpad Goncz, scheduled for Tuesday morning, have
been cancelled.

        Horn and Goncz are believed to have called off the meetings because
of the recent sharp attack by official Romanian circles on the Hungarian
Democratic Union of Romania, which included a threat to outlaw it.

        As previously reported, Hrebenciuc is currently in Budapest at the
head of a delegation, paying an official visit at the invitation of Csaba
parliamentary state secretary in the Prime Minister's office.

Industry Minister Attends Vienna Conference on Power Industry

        Vienna, January 24 (MTI) - The Hungarian government is firmly
committed to continuing privatization, and in fact intends to speed the process
up, said Hungarian Minister of Industry and Trade Laszlo Pal, in Vienna
today, when he opened a one-day conference on the privatization of the
Hungarian power industry and Austrian-Hungarian economic relations.

        Pal gave the delegates detailed information about the state of the
Hungarian economy, the government"s economic programme, and its
concrete plans for the future.

        The conference was attended by Austrian businessmen and experts,
those interested in the privatization of the Hungarian power industry, and
representatives of Austrian and international banks involved in financing it.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman's Press Briefing

        Budapest, January 24 (MTI) - The view of the Foreign Ministry is that
at present there are no grounds for establishing a ministry responsible for
integration with Europe or for creating a ministerial post with such a
responsibility. Foreign affairs spokesman Gabor Szentivanyi at his regular
press briefing here today, said that an inter ministerial commission, under the
direction of the foreign minister, can deal with the tasks arising from
membership and necessary for gaining full membership. The amount of work
connected with integration does not for the time being require the setting up
of a separate administrative unit, he said.

        He announced that a delegation from the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe, headed by ambassador Istvan Gyarmati, had flown to
Moscow earlier in the day to assess the possibilities for OSCE mediation in
seeking a normalization of the situation in Chechnya.

        The delegation will hold talks with several leading Russian politicians

before visiting Grozny in the second half of the week - possibly on Friday, to
gain firsthand information about the situation there.

        The spokesman said it was advantageous for Hungarian diplomacy
that Hungary was proceeding as chairman of the OSCE and accepting the
tasks associated with this post, particularly in a period fraught with crises.
the spokesman's view Hungarian diplomacy is sufficiently active and showing
initiative. He said the Hungarian OSCE presidency had been cautious and
thorough in the overtures it had made to the Russian leadership, displaying
maximum flexibility and the greatest possible firmness.

        The statements released by the Hungarian government and the OSCE
presidium reflect the concerns voiced over the situation in Chechnya, and
also call for a cease-fire and search for a peaceful solution. On the other
hand Hungarian diplomacy - as is the chairman-in-office of the OSCE - is in
the vanguard of the search for a constructive solution.

        All the indications are that the Russian leadership accepts the
Hungarian presidency as a partner. The spokesman said that the Hungarian
government hopes that the negotiations will lead sooner or later to a tangible
result that can truly help solve at least part of the conflict.

* * *

        Budapest, January 24 (MTI) - The spokesman then talked about a joint
statement on the Chechen crisis released by French Prime Minister Eduard
Balladur, who is the current chairman of the European Union, and Gyula
Horn, Prime Minister of Hungary (at present Hungary holds the Presidency of
the OSCE), addressed to Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin over
the Chechen crisis.

        The spokesman attached great significance to the fact that cooperation
between the two international organizations was concrete and not just a
matter of slogans.

        He denied that Hungary would introduce a visa requirement for the
citizens of several Soviet successor states after its review of its existing
treaties with these states.

        He told reporters that a trip to Belgrade by Foreign Minister Laszlo
Kovacs, chairman-in-office of the OSCE was not on the agenda. However,
consultations are going on with the Yugoslav leadership, and deputy state
secretary Janos Toth has held several rounds of talks with his Yugoslav

        The Foreign Ministry view is that Hungary's relations with Yugoslavia
can be normalized once the whole Yugoslav crisis has been settled.

        Nevertheless, Hungary is making efforts to make use of the
possibilities that may be open with regard to the embargo.

        As current chairman of the OSCE Hungary is calling for a renewal of
the work of the UN mission in Voivodina, Kosovo and the Sandjak areas.

        Responding to a joint statement released by six Hungarian
parliamentary parties on Monday, he said the Foreign Ministry was closely
monitoring the position of the Democratic Federation of Hungarians in
Romania. Romanian moves connected with the Federation are a Romanian
domestic affair, at the same time the Hungarian Foreign Ministry hopes that
the actions and statements of the Romanian government will be in harmony
with European norms, and with the international commitments undertaken by

* * *

        Budapest, January 24 (MTI) - The spokesman said the framework
convention for the protection of national minorities of the Council of Europe
will be ready for signature in Strasbourg on February 1, 1995. It is planned
that the document will be signed by 20 member states. Hungary will be
represented by Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs.

        The Convention will come into force when 12 ratification documents
are deposited in Strasbourg. Kovacs will conduct talks with the Secretary
General of the Council of Europe Daniel Tarschys and the Chairman of the
Parliamentary Assembly of the CE Miguel Angel Martinez. They will discuss
the activity of the Council of Europe and relations between Hungary and this

        Kovacs in his capacity as Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE will have
consultations on cooperation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE.
The secretary general and the chairmen in office of the two organizations will
participate in these talks. The Director of the Office of Democratic
and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE High Commissioner of Minorities
will also be present.

        Hungary supports the strengthening of cooperation especially in the
fields of conflict prevention, harmonization of legal systems, protection of
minorities and other aspects of the human dimension.

        A Hungarian delegation headed by Deputy State Secretary Zoltan
Pereszlenyi participated for the first time in the working group on regional
economic issues of the Multilateral Peace Process Initiatives in Bonn on
January 18-19, 1995.

        The purpose of the Hungarian participation in these talks which are
integral parts of the Middle East peace process was to elaborate favourable
conditions for the participation of Hungarian companies in long-term projects
on regional economic cooperation.

        The Hungarian government welcomes the decision of the Government
of the Republic of Costa Rica to reopen its Embassy in Budapest from
January 12, 1995. The charge d' affaires ad interim has arrived in Budapest
and is taking over his duties. "We consider this step as an important
contribution to the development of bilateral relations and our mutually
commercial and economic cooperation, " the spokesman said.

Kovacs and Goncz Meet Heads of Hungarian Parties from Slovakia

        Budapest, January 24 (MTI) - Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs had a
meeting lasting almost an hour with the representatives of Hungarian parties
from Slovakia, during which both parties received a clear picture about the
position of Hungarians in Slovakia, the foreign policy goals of the Hungarian
government, with special regard to what they intend to do for ethnic
Hungarians beyond the borders.

        Kovacs said in his view these consultation did not spoil the chances of

holding successful talks with Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar, adding that
Meciar had also met these leaders, so he also had been informed from
several sources.

        President Arpad Goncz also received the ethnic Hungarian leaders for
an informal meeting that lasted more than an hour.

        President Goncz was quoted as saying that it was not in Hungary's
interest to foster bad relations with its neighbours - including Slovakia. Only
fostering good relations is in the interest of ethnic Hungarian minorities
beyond the borders. President Goncz also said that one had to be realistic,
and Budapest had to conduct a dialogue with those who had been elected
democratically in the given country.

        As regards a Hungarian-Slovak basic treaty, President Goncz said
Hungary is interested in producing a document that contains a series of
undertakings for the fulfillment of which each country is accountable, and is
line with European norms. He also said that every treaty is worth as much as
the underlying political interests allow to be implemented.

        He went on to say that he considered it vital that a decision be made
on the basic treaty after consulting the views of the ethnic 'Hungarians in
Slovakia and taking them into consideration.

        The three Hungarian politicians from Slovakia informed the President
about the work of the Hungarian coalition, the results they had achieved at
the national and local elections, and the social reconstruction programme of
the three Hungarian parties.

        They also said that ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia were nowadays
mostly preoccupied with issues such as the state of education in general and
the use of the mother tongue in particular.

Hungarian FM Meets Romanian Government"s General-Secretary

        Budapest, January 24 (MTI) - Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo
Kovacs on Tuesday received General-Secretary of the Romanian
government Viorel Hrebenciuc, who is currently on a visit to Budapest.

        Reporting on the meeting, which ran longer than planned, Kovacs said
they had reviewed relations between the two countries, and agreed that these
relations have moved out of the impasse since last summer.

        Kovacs also deemed it important to mention the problems currently
causing serious hitches in bilateral relations. He said that the statements
made by a member of the Romanian government, the appeal of a coalition
party, and the constant, anti-Hungarian manifestations of the chairman of a
coalition party, threaten the Hungarian minority in Romania almost in its
existence, contradict the interests of the two peoples, and harm Bucharest's
international evaluation.

        (The Hungarian foreign minister was evidently referring to the remarks
made by the Romanian minister of justice last week, the anti-Hungarian
remarks made by Gheorghe Funar, mayor of Cluj and leader of the
Romanian National Unity Party, and the January 20 government statement
which called on the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (HDUR) to
dispense its National Local Government Council. Funar's party had earlier
attacked the HDUR on several occasions.)

        The general-secretary of the Romanian government outlined the
background of these statements, and relations within the governing coalition.

        The strongest party in the Bucharest government coalition, the Party of

Social Democracy of Romania, has only 34 per cent in legislation, forcing it to
make concessions to one of its partners in the minority issue, in order to
implement the economic changes that are deemed essential, he said.

        Kovacs said he believed the reply was sincere, but was far from

        Hrebenciuc termed the talks as fruitful, and said he wished to hold
talks with all leaders of the HDUR on his return to Romania, irrespective of
which platform they belong to.

* * *

Budapest, January 24 (MTI) - The Romanian government"s general-secretary
said he hopes that the debate, which seems almost like an earthquake in
Budapest, will be settled, and the affair will soon die down.

        According to Hrebenciuc, his government is ready for a "speedy and
radical improvement" in ties with Hungary.

        The Romanian politician forwarded the proposal of the Romanian
foreign minister to hold a foreign ministerial meeting in Strasbourg on
February 1, when the Council of Europe's minority protection framework
agreement is signed.

        The Hungarian foreign minister welcomed the proposal.

        Experts of the two foreign ministries are to review a memorandum on
relations between the two countries in early February, and will also exchange
views on the text of the basic agreement.

        The general-secretary, who has been holding talks in Budapest since
Monday, would have met Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn on Tuesday,
however, Horn cancelled the meeting in view of his busy schedule.

        In answer to questions from the press on the effects of the cancellatio
of the meeting on Romanian home politics, Kovacs said: "If someone
evaluates the cancellation of the meeting as a political message, rather than
something due to the busy schedule of Gyula Horn, then that person should
rather think about whether the Romanian manifestations, and the regular anti-
Hungarian attacks of the past week are useful or harmful to the relation
between the two countries. That person will obviously realize that these are
harmful, just as they harm Romania's international evaluation."

        The preliminary programme of Hrebenciuc for Wednesday includes a
meeting with the Union of Romanians in Hungary, and members of Hungarian
Parliament's Human Rights and Minority Affairs Committee.

Joint Exercise by Hungarian and American Air Forces

        Budapest, January 24 (MTI) - Hungarian Minister of Defence Gyorgy
Keleti and General James L. Jamerson, commander of NATO's Air Force for
Central Europe and the U.S. Air Force stationed in Europe, held talks in
Budapest on Tuesday on preparations for the joint rescue exercise to be held
by the Hungarian and American air forces in 1996.

        Following the meeting, Keleti said the maneuver would take place
within NATO's Partnership for Peace programme.

        The minister of defence termed the talks as another stage in relations
between the Hungarian Army and NATO, and the U.S. Air Force.

        He also said he had asked the general for the U.S. Air Force to
present its latest technology either this year or next summer at the Taszar
(SW Hungary) Air Show.

        General Jamerson, who arrived for a three-day visit on Tuesday, said
direct relations between the air forces of the two countries look back on
several years.

        He said he hoped that Hungarian-American cooperation would also
meet with success in the Partnership for Peace programme.

Prime Minister Horn Receives Hungarian Slovak MPs

        Budapest, January 24 (MTI) - Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn on
Tuesday received a delegation of Hungarian MPs from Slovakia's Parliament.

        Following the meeting, the Hungarian Slovakian politicians told the
press the importance of their now concluded two-day visit to Hungary is
heightened by the fact that no Hungarian Slovak law-makers had visited
Budapest until now from the current three-party coalition (Coexistence,
Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement, and Hungarian Civic Party).

        The talks with the prime minister included economic, political and
minority affairs, and issues that are expected to be discussed during the
meeting between Horn and Slovak Prime Minister Meciar (the Gabcikovo
power station and the basic agreement).

        Citing the forthcoming Hungarian-Slovak prime ministerial talks, the
politicians declined to go into details on the issues discussed.

        However, the Slovakian MPs agree that an improvement in Hungarian-
Slovak relations is desirable, which they themselves will try to promote in
legislation by, for instance, calling for the inclusion of such democratic law
elements into the Slovak legal order which have successfully stood the test in
Hungarian practice.

        In connection with the forthcoming visit of Vladimir Meciar, Laszlo A.
Nagy, chairman of the Hungarian Civic Party, told MTI he does not expect
any sort of breakthrough from the visit.

        He expects Prime Minister Meciar will continue the line that he
adhered to last week when the Slovak government programme was
        The duality between the words and actions of the Slovak prime
minister will continue, indicating he advocates the European way of thinking
and is pro-minority, but his actions reveal something else entirely, Nagy said.

* * *

        Budapest, January 24 (MTI) - Bela Bugar, leader of the Hungarian
Christian Democratic Movement, also attached little hope to successful talks.
According to his expectations, the talks between Horn and Meciar will rather
be of an exploratory nature.

        Miklos Duray, chairman of Coexistence, would like to see an
improvement in the relation between the two countries and peoples in the
wake of Meciar's visit. Unfortunately, with the knowledge of the Meciar
government's programme, this is difficult to envision, he added.

Economic Talks in Vienna a Success

        Vienna, January 24 (MTI) - Hungarian Minister of Industry and Trade
Laszlo Pal on Tuesday evening told Hungarian journalists in Vienna that he
was satisfied with his bilateral talks held in the Austrian capital.

        Austrian Minister of Economics Wolfgang Schussel promised that
Austria would intervene in Brussels in order to eliminate the disadvantages
arising from Austria's membership in the European Union. This mainly implies
that the EFTA agreement between Hungary and Austria has lost its force due
to the EU membership, thus the Austrian quota of Hungarian agricultural and
food industry products has declined. This change affects Hungarian
distribution of Austrian products in the other direction as well, the Hungarian
minister said.

        Minister Pal held talks with President of the Austrian Economic
Chamber Leopold Maderthaner, and with influential Austrian entrepreneurs
who confirmed they would continue, as well as expand their activity in

        Pal agreed with the leaders of Bank Austria on close cooperation and
its concrete meaning: the bank will shortly send a delegation to Hungary to
become familiarized with the projects in which there is a chance of their

A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
Alapitvany tamogatja.

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Reposting is supported by Hungarian Human Rights Foundation News
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