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1 Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (feb.22) (mind)  150 sor     (cikkei)
2 Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (feb.23) (mind)  588 sor     (cikkei)
3 Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (feb.24) (mind)  498 sor     (cikkei)
4 CET - 28 February 1995 (mind)  91 sor     (cikkei)
5 VoA - Csehorszag/Magyarorszag (mind)  76 sor     (cikkei)

+ - Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (feb.22) (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. 39/1995                                             22 February 1995

Hungarian Foreign State Secretary in the U.S.

        Washington, February 20 (MTI) - Istvan Szent-Ivanyi, parliamentary
State Secretary at the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, is in the United States

        The politician arrived in Washington on Monday evening and will fly
on to New York on Friday. He will have talks at the State Department, the
Department of Defence, and the Department of the Treasury, visit the
National Security Council, meet congressmen in charge of foreign affairs,
and call at the headquarters of the Overseas Private Investment
Corporation (OPIC).

        Szent-Ivanyi will tell U.S. foreign policy analysts about the situation

in Central Europe, and Hungary's ideas on NATO's expansion.

        Istvan Gyarmati, chief department head at the Hungarian Foreign
Ministry and envoy of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe, is also in Washington at present.

Goncz and Keleti on Hungarian Army

        Budapest, February 21 (MTI) - Arpad Goncz claimed trends in U.S.-
Russian relations will decide when Hungary can join NATO.

        Speaking at a conference of commanders in Budapest on Tuesday,
the president of Hungary and commander-in-chief of the armed forces
added that in the meantime the army should be prepared for joining. For
instance, it is necessary to teach officers foreign languages, and familiarize
them with the various NATO standards.

        Defence Minister Gyorgy Keleti warned that an army of today's size
and structure can no longer be financed. Staff reductions will mainly affect
middle-rank officers and ordinary soldiers.

        At the Tuesday conference of commanders in Budapest, President
Arpad Goncz, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, stressed the army
can be funded only in line with the country's financial means. Hungary does
not have cash to buy modern weapons, and this seems unlikely to change.
But the country needs an army able to deter possible aggressors, Goncz

        He added he does not believe the country would be attacked,
especially from all sides, but Hungarian soldiers may face the task of
disarming groups drifting over the southern border.

        Defence Minister Gyorgy Keleti said the combat-readiness of the
army must be maintained at all costs, and any further financial constraints
would basically threaten this.

        Keleti emphasized Hungary's need for an army of European
standards sufficiently good to join NATO. However, integration would need
a far larger defence budget than at present, he added.

More German Aid for Hungarian Armed Forces?

        Budapest, February 21 (MTI) - A delegation from the Hungarian
Parliament's Defence Committee will leave for Bonn in mid-March to hold
talks on another German aid consignment and German assistance in
military training.

        Chairman Imre Mecs told MTI that he had met Otto-Raban Heinichen,
German Ambassador to Hungary, in Budapest on Tuesday.

        The ambassador presented him with an invitation from Klaus Rose,
the new chairman of the Defence Committee of the Bundestag.

        Leading a delegation, Mecs will leave for Bonn on March 12 to
discuss with his German counterpart how Germany could assist Hungary's
efforts to join NATO. The topics on the agenda will include the supply of
further German military components to Hungary.

        On April 2, 1993 the Hungarian and German defence ministers signed
an agreement on the free transfer to Hungary of materials that formerly
belonged to the East German army. Weapons were excluded from the
scope of the agreement.

        Since then, the Hungarian Armed Forces have received twenty L-39
type aircraft for the training of fighter pilots, and Germany has also handed
over spare parts required for the repair and maintenance of military

Hungarian-Romanian Talks on Basic Treaty

        Bucharest, February 21 (MTI) - A memorandum specifying the fields
of cooperation between Hungarian and Romanian institutions was initialled
in the framework of bilateral expert talks, in Bucharest, this afternoon.

        The document will be formally signed by administrative state
secretaries of foreign affairs, the time and place will be announced later.

        Ferenc Szocs, head of department at the Hungarian Foreign Ministry,
told MTI that the memorandum was an updated and expanded version of a
document signed two and a half years ago.

        Gyorgy Szenasi, head of the ministry's department of international
law, said that talks on the two countries" basic treaty lasted all day long.
They would be resumed on Wednesday and might continue into Thursday.

Parliament Raises Pensions by 11 Per Cent

        Budapest, February 21 (MTI) - The Hungarian Parliament today
unanimously approved the governing coalition's proposal for a 11 per cent
increase in pensions.

        The rise, which is backdated to January 1, means that the monthly
pension will increase by a minimum of HUF 900 and a maximum of HUF

        The opposition Federation of Young Democrats proposed a 12.5 per
cent rise. In a roll-call vote initiated by that party, this proposal was

        In accordance with the law, Parliament will have to make a decision
on another pension rise in September.

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

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

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

+ - Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (feb.23) (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. 40/1995                                                     23 February 199

Parliament Discusses Foreign Policy

        Budapest, February 22 (MTI) - The spring session of Hungarian Parliamen
continued with a political debating forum in Budapest on Wednesday morning,
with parliamentary group leaders hearing and commenting on a report on the
foreign political activities of the president of the republic and the

        Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs said the aim of the forum was to help
determine more precisely Hungary's scope of international activity, sum up the
lessons from recent years and promote the consensus of political parties and a
broad social agreement on the country's foreign policy aspirations.

        On developments in Hungary's neighbourhood, Kovacs said it was
favourable that constitutional statehood had consolidated in the region,
democratic rules of play had become prevalent, and - contrary to certain
worries -
not even changes to left-wing government had led to a rollback, with work on
setting up market economies continuing.

        The minister mentioned among the negative phenomena the emergence of
new security risks adding to instability and unpredictability, such as extreme
nationalism, sometimes pursued as official policy. The most serious problem had
been the Yugoslav conflict, all the more as the failure of the international
community so far to manage the crisis had created a harmful precedent that the
world can be forced to accept new realities achieved through violence. And now,
with the possible departure of U.N. peace-keepers, the danger of an escalation
the conflict also lingered, Kovacs said.

        "The most serious problem, however, has been the Yugoslav conflict, wit
the especially harmful consequence that the failure of the international
so far to solve the crisis has created a dangerous precedent that the world can
forced to accept new realities achieved through violence. And now, with U.N.
peace-keepers set to leave, the risk of escalation remains. The long-running
threatens, if indirectly, our security, ethnic Hungarians living in Vojvodina,
damages the international image of the region. In a sense, it may also frighten
away investors from Hungary. In view of its geographical closeness, Hungary
should pursue an extremely cautious and balanced policy and do everything
possible to resolve the crisis," the foreign minister said.

        Kovacs said the Chechen conflict may affect the internal conditions of
Russia and, in turn, Moscow's international conduct. Hungary as chairman-in-
office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has a
chance to promote settlement of the crisis. Now the aim is to achieve a lasting
cease-fire and help restore constitutional order and prepare the future
elections through the permanent presence of observers. All this has to be done
with Moscow's consent and by Russian constitutional and OSCE principles.

        Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs said in Parliament that although
sometimes conflicting statements were made about enlarging the EU and NATO,
these statements no longer reject the idea of opening the gates of these

        He said it was apparent that substantive talks with countries trying to
the European Union could only start after an intergovernmental conference
starting in 1996. Preconditions for NATO membership are simpler than
requirements set by the EU, but also there has been a growing belief within the
Euro-Atlantic alliance that the EU and NATO should enlarge in parallel.

        However neither the EU nor NATO wants to "import" the tension of Centra
Europe, and its internal disputes. Still, NATO expansion might pick up speed
Hungary could be admitted to the North Atlantic organization as early as next

        Over the past seven months Kovacs felt Hungary has moved closer to the
European integration institutions. Hungarian diplomats have asked for an
approximate time frame for joining and requirements of admission. Hungary has
also asked that decision be made on each applying country on an individual
and not in groups.

        It is in Hungary's security and economic interests to improve relations
neighbouring countries, and the development of contacts is vital to improving
state of Hungarians beyond the border, he went on. In this connection he said
Hungary's relations with Ukraine, Croatia, and Slovenia have developed
adequately in the past seven months.

        Austria's EU membership is advantageous in the long run for Hungary,
because it can help our accession, but in the short term it hampers the access
Hungarian goods to markets, and even the crossing of the border. However, both
sides show a readiness to eliminate these problems.

        Hungarian-Serbian ties are dependent on the normalization of the
Yugoslav crisis, the minister said it is only possible today to maintain the
political contacts.

        Improvement in Hungarian-Slovak and Hungarian-Romanian relations
have received particular attention since the new government started office, and
these have borne some fruit, he noted.

        The government considers the conclusion of basic treaties as a means an
not an objective for improving bilateral ties. The government believes firmly
the conclusion of the two basic treaties now under drafting is in no way
disadvantageous for Hungary or ethnic Hungarians, he added.

        Kovacs also said that if minority rights could be laid down in these bi
basic treaties, the political commitment undertaken with the signing of
documents turns into legal obligation, and this will mark a step forward. The
government consults the affected ethnic minorities as a matter of course, but
Hungarian government will make the ultimate decision.

        Parliament's role is to ratify these treaties.

        Kovacs said the government does not use the support of ethnic
Hungarians beyond the borders for domestic policy purposes, and will not
from illusions. In the past few months it has striven to outline its objectives
- and
realities too - with the representatives of ethnic Hungarians, but it has also
its solidarity, Kovacs added.

        Kovacs said there was a harmonious relationship between the government
and the president.

        In coming months President Goncz will pay visits to Ireland, Austria, a
Denmark and Prime Minister Horn to Russia, Britain, the United States, and the

        "The government has done its best, and in foreign policy it has attaine
what is attainable", - he concluded by saying.

Prime Minister Horn Addresses Parliament

        Budapest, February 22 (MTI) - The Hungarian government is following
through the process of joining the European Union and NATO. It will subordinate
everything else to this objective, said Prime Minister Gyula Horn when he
addressed a foreign policy debate in Parliament Wednesday morning.

        He added that at the same time the government was supporting, with all
means available, the interests and objectives of ethnic Hungarians beyond the

        Horn said all Hungarians had the national ability to integrate into Eur
But basic treaties cannot solve all problems, and a network of bilateral
agreements is necessary.

        Prime Minister Horn rejected charges that Hungary overlooked grievances

afflicting Hungarians beyond the country's borders.

        He also denied an allegation that Hungarian organizations operating in
neighbouring countries rejected basic treaties.

        Referring to his talks with Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar last
January Prime Minister Horn said it was a goal to conclude a Hungarian-Slovak
basic treaty before March 20, but it was not a date either side insisted on,
were working for.

        He mentioned among future tasks the full construction of the system of
institutions of a market economy, and preparations for a programme of
modernization about whose strategy the government plans to put forward a draft
position to Parliament before late April.

        Prime Minister Horn said there is a good chance for the EU
intergovernmental conference in 1996 to decide on a date to start talks aimed
admitting Hungary. Hungary wants negotiations not only on membership over the
next three years but that the individual states give their assent themselves to
Hungary's admission. On the basis of his last talks in Brussels he said he
there was a realistic chance for Hungary to be admitted to NATO in 1996.

        He was convinced that Hungary's admission to the European Union and
NATO would be a political decision. In Horn's view there is no European state
opposed to Hungary's admission to these two organizations. He said neighbouring
states also agreed that it would serve security and stability if they either
with Hungary or on a separate basis could join the European Union and NATO.
        Horn concluded by saying there was no excuse for Hungary missing her
chance of joining the EU and NATO.

Speakers in Parliament on Foreign Policy

        Budapest, February 22 (MTI) - Keynote speakers for the six parties in
Parliament summed up government foreign policy today.

        Matyas Eorsi, chairman of Parliament's foreign affairs committee, and
representing the Free Democrats, said the of minor governing party, "The
of Free Democrats is satisfied with the foreign policy pursued by the

        He did not question that the foundations of Hungarian foreign policy ha
been laid by the previous government.

        Lajos Fur, representing the opposition Hungarian Democratic Forum, said

the solution of the case of minorities in Europe was not only a cornerstone of
democracy, but also an integral part of security on the European continent, and
the survival of Hungarian minorities adjusting into the European picture was a
crucial issue for Hungary. He said the problem stemmed partly from the real
of ethnic Hungarians on the one hand and partly from the chances of finding a
solution on the other.

        Andras Barsony, for the Hungarian Socialist Party, called on Parliament
examine what it can do to ensure that Hungarian foreign policy goals are
both at home and abroad. In his assessment there was no political force in
Hungary that did not accept the main goals, but there were tactical and
differences between the parties. He called on the opposition to strive for a
consensus in foreign policy.

        Mrs G. Nagy Agnes Maczo (opposition Independent Smallholders' Party)
criticized those politicians responsible for foreign policy who only had
considerations for the sensitivity of neighbours while failing to mention that
sensitivity of the Hungarian people and ethnic Hungarians forced into minority
status must not be offended.

        She said that if the goal is to bring about a Europe without borders, t
negotiations should concentrate on opening the borders rather than focussing on

        Deputy chairman Laszlo Surjan, (opposition Christian Democratic People'
Party), recalled the opposition had initiated the debate day dedicated to
policy. He said the reason for this was that the opposition felt a sense of
frustration. He wanted the six parliamentary parties to act together more at
international forums.
        Zsolt Nemeth, for the opposition Federation of Young Democrats, said it

was common knowledge that before parliamentary elections leaders of the two
now-governing parties, the Alliance of Free Democrats and the Hungarian
Socialist Party, had terminated the six party consensus in foreign policy.

        Former foreign minister Geza Jeszenszky  said that although he was an
opposition politician he did not oppose the current government just for the
sake of
it, in fact he would like to see the lives of the Hungarian people improve
the joint efforts of the government and the Opposition and a good foreign

        At the same time he said that since the change in government, nearly al
the top officials had been dismissed from the Foreign Ministry, and most of the
replacements were inferior to their predecessors.

        He criticized the government's integration policy in general and their
"lukewarm, we have plenty of time" attitude to joining NATO.

        He said the low intensity of relations with America and Britain was
conspicuous, despite the fact that the final word in endorsing a country's
admission to NATO lay with America.

        The former minister said foreign countries and the Opposition are alike

concerned that soldiers had returned to the leadership of the Hungarian Defence
Ministry, and a reduction in civilian supervision was a recurring theme in the
foreign press.

        In conclusion Jeszenszky said that the present government was itself
setting up barriers in the way of achieving fast integration into NATO and the
and he felt Hungary's international reputation today was much worse than it had
been a year ago.

Hungarian-Romanian Talks on Basic Treaty

        Bucharest, February 22 (MTI) - The Hungarian-Romanian expert talks,
which started in the Bucharest Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, will be resumed on
Thursday, Romanian and Hungarian diplomats announced this evening.

        According to Hungarian diplomatic sources, Ferenc Somogyi,
Administrative State Secretary of Foreign Affairs, is expected to arrive in
Bucharest in early March, to sign a memorandum finalized on Tuesday.

        Today the two delegations made some progress towards finalizing the tex
of 20 or so clauses on which agreement in principle had been reached
        The sources informing MTI believe that there is a good chance that a
mutually acceptable formula will be found for the border clause. As for the
rights of
national minorities, the two sides have not yet come to an agreement.

        Should the delegations fail to complete negotiations on Thursday, the n
round may be held only after next week's bilateral expert talks on the
Slovak basic treaty. This is because the Hungarian delegation which will travel
Bratislava will be led by Gyorgy Szenasi, head of the Foreign Ministry's
department of international law, and leader of the delegation at present
negotiating in Bucharest.

        For the basic treaties to be signed before March 20, the date of the Pa
conference on the Pact on Stability in Europe, their texts would have to be
finalized by March 10 at the latest, diplomats said.

Hungarian Foreign State Secretary in Washington

        Washington, February 22 (MTI) - On Tuesday, the first day of his visit
the United States, Hungarian Parliamentary State Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Istvan Szent-Ivanyi informed his negotiating partners in the National Security
Council, the Pentagon, and the Department of the Treasury about Hungary's
internal situation and its endeavours to join NATO.

        Szent-Ivanyi met Republican Senator Hank Brown, member of the Foreign
Affairs Committee, after whom the law on the expansion of NATO was named.

        In the Department of Defence the talks focussed on Hungary's admission
to NATO. The Americans said that Central European states, including Hungary,
would be given access to sophisticated US offensive weapons, whose sale to
them had been banned previously.

        Szent-Ivanyi welcomed the offer and indicated Hungary's interest in
purchasing such weapons.

        Concerning Hungary's entry into NATO, the state secretary said that bot
the US Administration and the Congress advocated the expansion of NATO, but
the details had still to be clarified.

        "My impression is that the US administration believes this will be a
somewhat lengthy process, taking more than one or two years, and lays emphasis
on a gradual expansion," said Szent-Ivanyi.

Parliament Speaker Arrives in Thailand

        Bangkok, February 22 (MTI) - Leading a Hungarian parliamentary
delegation, the Speaker Zoltan Gal arrived in Thailand on an official visit

        The delegation was received by Thai King Rama IX (civilian name:
Bhumibol Abdulyadej).

        Gal is accompanied by Eva Sarkadi Lukovics of the Alliance of Free
Democrats and Jozsef Torgyan, Chairman of the Independent Smallholders'
Party. The delegation was joined by Hungarian Ambassador to Thailand Zoltan

        The king praised Hungary's achievement in changing over to a market-
based democracy, and exchanged views with Gal on how difficult and responsible
a task it was to maintain national identity and at the same time keep pace with
changing world.

        The delegation held talks with Marut Bunnak, President and Speaker of t
House of Representatives, and Meechai Ruchupan, President of the Senate. The
politicians examined the possibilities for developing bilateral relations, and
discussed the role of inter-parliamentary cooperation in boosting economic

        The Hungarian MPs and the business leaders accompanying them met
Minister of Transport and Communications Vichit Surapongchai to hold talks on
concrete fields of economic cooperation, in particular large-scale
development schemes. So far 50 Hungarian-made Ikarus buses have been sold
to Thailand and are in service on the streets of Bangkok.

Most Hungarians Do Not Oppose NATO Membership

        Budapest, February 22 (MTI) - A poll conducted this month has revealed
that 44 per cent of Hungarians favour NATO membership, 16 per cent oppose it,
and 40 per cent have no opinion on the subject, Defence Ministry officials told
press conference in Budapest today.

        At the request of the Defence Ministry, a thousand people were asked th
opinion on Hungary's possible admission to the western military alliance. Those
who support the idea expect NATO to enhance Hungary's security while those
against it would prefer the country to remain neutral.

        Defence Minister Gyorgy Keleti said that this year Hungary should start

creating the conditions for close cooperation with NATO, and next year its army
should be made capable of full membership.

        As part of this process, in October Hungary will hold a Partnership for

Peace military exercise with the involvement of British and German units.
Romanian, Slovak and Slovenian soldiers have also been invited.

        The government will shortly discuss a report by the national security
committee on whether the first peacekeeping unit trained in Hungary should be
deployed and if so, when and where. The first place it might be in action was
Cyprus, the minister said.

        The ministry closed last year with a HUF 2.4 billion deficit, but earli
er this
year it repaid all its debts, Keleti said.

        Col.- Gen. Janos Deak, Commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces, said
that the armed forces would be cut from 90,000 to 75,000-80,000 by 1998.

        The reform will result in smaller but more effective and more modern
armed forces.

        To strengthen the professional nature of the army, 6,000 to 8,000 troop
will be employed on contract, and compulsory military service reduced from 12
9 months, he said.

NBH President and Finance Minister Nominees Heard

        Budapest, February 22 (MTI) - The Hungarian Parliament's Budget and
Finance Committee heard Finance Minister nominee Lajos Bokros and National
Bank of Hungary president nominee Gyorgy Suranyi on Wednesday. The
committees will hear Privatization Minister nominee Tamas Suchmann late in the
evening. After these hearings President Arpad Goncz can approve their

        Short-term macroeconomic measures such as exchange rate policy,
interest rate policy or short-term management of public debt should be carried
and not discussed publicly, Bokros stressed in answer to specific questions. If
these policies are leaked and anticipated, it blunts their effectiveness, he

        The best way to boost investment is by encouraging saving, Bokros said,

adding that the public sector borrowing should be cut to leave room for
commercial borrowing. He stressed the need for a reform of public finance. In
contrast with short-term stabilizing measures, the public finance reform as
well as
the privatization strategy should be carried out openly to make them acceptable
the public.

        With the cooperation of the National Bank of Hungary and the Hungarian
Bank for Investment and Development (MBFB), a transfer mechanism will be
worked out to enable commercial banks holding short-term liabilities to grant
term loans, he promised.

        Bokros does not anticipate substantial revenues from the real estate ta
x he
has proposed. He said the revenues should be used to make the home building
sector self-financing. The moral basis for the introduction of such a tax are
the low
rents and loans bearing low interest rates enjoyed in the past.

        In front of the committees, nominee for President of the National Bank
Hungary Gyorgy Suranyi said that by the end of 1995 inflation may begin to fall
three conditions are met: the 3-4pc GDP growth of 1994 is maintained, the
in nominal wages is limited to 17 per cent as foreseen by the tripartite
Coordination Council and if the budget deficit is substantially cut.

        The economic policy should establish conditions for solid growth which
could only be an export-led growth in the case of a small open economy like
Hungary's. Room for businesses to grow can be created only through a
substantial reduction in the general government deficit, he stressed. If
Suranyi promised a predictable central bank policy to maintain both domestic
foreign confidence. (Econews)

Finance Ministry figures show 3pc growth in GDP

        Budapest, February 22 (MTI-ECONEWS)- Preliminary figures indicate that
Hungary's GDP grew by total 3pc in real terms in 1994, according to a report
issued by the Finance Ministry.

        Industrial production grew by 9pc, with construction industry increasin
g by
around 20pc, and in the food industry by 3.5-4pc. Total capital investment grew
around 10pc last year, estimated figures of the Central Statistical Office

        Hungary's current account deficit was USD 3.8-4bn (10pc of GDP) at the
end of the year. Foreign direct cash investment amounted to USD 1.4bn,
non-cash contributions.

        The number of people in paid employment decreased by 2-3pc in 1994,
concurrent with the year's 112,000 decrease in the number of the registered
unemployed, which stood at 520,000 at the end of the year, that is 10.4pc of

        Eleven month figures show that consumption grew by 1-2pc, as a result o
a 3-5pc increase in real wages and an increase in the savings rate.
        Industrial producer prices grew by around 10pc, and consumer prices by
an average of 18.8pc in 1994. The consumer price level in December 1994 was
21.2pc up from December 1993, and prices rose more rapidly in the second half
of the year.

        Prices rose more in 1994 due to increase in demand than in previous
years, as there were no government-directed changes in prices or taxation apart
from an 8pc forint devaluation in August. Net personal savings rose by HUF
292bn, which was not sufficient to finance the budget deficit. Net debt of the
business sector grew by around HUF 350bn, well over expectations.

        Interest rates on loans and deposits grew by 3-4pc, while lending rates

reached 27-30pc, resulting in a 14-17pc positive real interest rate over the
industrial producer price index.

        Commercial banks were slow in adapting to the increases in central bank

rates. Consequently, interest rates barely grew in the first half of the year
began growing gradually in the second half. Some companies took out significant
foreign loans, and the interest on these loans was much less - even considering
forint devaluations - than on forint loans.

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

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

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

+ - Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (feb.24) (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. 41/1995                                                     24 February 199

Szent-Ivanyi Talks NATO Expansion in U.S.

        Washington, February 23 (MTI) - Officials at the U.S. State Department
saw the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe)
Chechnya mission as useful and expressed satisfaction with Hungary's role as
OSCE chairman-in-office, particularly its approach to the conflict, Istvan
Ivanyi said after his Wednesday talks in Washington.

        The parliamentary state secretary at the Hungarian Foreign Ministry
held talks, among other politicians, with Deputy State Secretary Strobe
Talbott, on the Chechen crisis and NATO's expansion.

        In the view of the U.S., the enlargement of NATO should be carried out
with equal regard to the aspirations of the concerned states in the region and
Russia's legitimate security interests, Szent-Ivanyi said. He added his partner
stated no country had veto rights in the matter of expansion, while it was in
everybody's interest that a strategic relationship evolved between Russia and
NATO, proving that the step is not directed against Moscow.

        Talbott told the Hungarian state secretary that the joining process
would take time, since the home policy background to expansion also had to
be taken into account in both the United States and the allied states. He also
noted that the would-be members had not been designated yet, nor could this
be expected before the end of the year.

        The deputy state secretary made it clear that while Washington regards
Chechnya as an integral part of Russia, it does not consider the conflict an
exclusively internal affair due to the massive human-rights violations

        On Wednesday, Szent-Ivanyi also held a discussion with congressmen
on NATO's expansion and the Budapest session of the North Atlantic
Assembly. U.S. legislators supported the proposal for Hungary to be accepted
as full member of the assembly. The Hungarian politician and relevant State
Department group heads reviewed a wide range of questions related to
bilateral relations.

Trade with Third World Countries

        Budapest, February 23 (MTI) - Hungary's exports to developing
countries were worth USD 498 million last year, with imports amounting to
USD 691 million. Trade with the seven ex-socialist countries outside Europe
consisted of USD 24.1 million in exports and USD 115.7 million in imports, the
Ministry of Industry and Trade told MTI on Thursday.

        Exports in developing and newly industrialized countries fell by 5 per
cent and imports rose by 17.3 per cent in one year.

        Within this, exports to Africa dropped by 4.3 per cent and imports from

there increased by 70.6 per cent; sales to Asia were 21.3 per cent down and
imports 15.4 per cent up, while Hungary sold 39.1 per cent more goods to Latin
America and purchased 10.5 per cent less from there than a year earlier.

        The largest growth - more than twofold - was in exports to Israel, whil
imports went up only slightly.

        There was a striking decline in sales to India, Iran, Jordan and Syria.

The statistics provide no clue as to the interrelations in trade traffic, since
imports from India decreased, while those from Iran, Jordan and Syria

        China continued to lead the list of Hungary's former socialist trading
partners outside Europe. The value of imports approached USD 100 million,
but exports fell to a fifth of their 1993 level. Exports to Vietnam shrank by 1
cent, while imports grew by 64 per cent from 1993 to 1994.

The Worst Is Over for Hungarian Agriculture

        Budapest, February 23 (MTI) - Hungarian agriculture started to recover
from its long-running crisis last year, when production increased by 5 per cent
and exports by 15 per cent as compared with 1993. The market position of
producers has improved, with selling prices rising by 26 per cent, while the
cost of materials, equipment and services rose only by 20 per cent.
Agricultural production is expected to grow by 2-4 per cent this year.
Government subsidies, which exceed last year's, will mainly be used to boost
        Farm exports in 1994 amounted to USD 2.2 billion, USD 300 million up
on the previous year. Imports grew only slightly, and were USD 1 billion less
than exports.

        Exports of fresh vegetables increased by 50 per cent, canned products
by 34 per cent, dry sausage by 30 per cent, and wine and champagne by 15 per
cent, while less pork, cattle and calves for slaughter and cereals were sold
abroad. There was a growth in lard and cereal imports, but imports of dairy
products fell.

        The biggest growth in exports was to the former socialist countries and

Soviet successor states, whereas exports to developed countries were only
slightly above the 1993 level.

        Plant production rose by 13.4 per cent, while the output of animal
husbandry dropped by 11.3 per cent last year. Livestock numbers continued to
decrease in 1994, though not as fast as previously, with 10 per cent less
(935,000) and a fall in the pig population from six to five million.

        A survey by the Central Statistical Office showed more than 1,675,000
families are engaged in agriculture, of whom over one million raise animals, so
livestock numbers could be increased fairly quickly with suitable economic

        Agriculture this year will receive government support of HUF 80 billion

(USD 720 million), compared with HUF 57 billion in 1993, chiefly designed to
improve the market position of producers. HUF 40 billion will go to promoting
exports, and the government will pay 70 per cent of the interest on loans taken
up to finance purchases of farm machinery.

        The Ministry of Industry and Trade is planning to subsidize agricultura
exports by an additional HUF 5 billion this year, as a result of which they are
expected to rise by USD 300 million to USD 2.5 billion.

Business Organizations in Hungary

        Budapest, February 23 (MTI) - The number of business organizations in
Hungary increased further in January, and late in the month exceeded 1.06
million. Their number rose by 7,000 in one month, the Central Statistical
informed MTI today.
        The number of enterprises without legal entity totaled over 900,000, an
most of them were individual enterprises, about 10 per cent deposit
partnerships, and one per cent economic entrepreneurial communities.

        About one third of individual entrepreneurs are self-employed artisans,

32 per cent intellectual freelancers, or private dealers, and three per cent
agricultural entrepreneurs.

        Some 87 per cent of enterprises with legal entity are limited liability

companies. Of the companies, 35 per cent are active in trade and services, 19
per cent in industry, 18 per cent deal in real estate transactions, nine per
in the building industry and five per cent in agriculture.

President Goncz Appoints Bokros, Suchman, Suranyi

        Budapest, February 23 (MTI) - President Arpad Goncz - at Prime Minister

Gyula Horn's proposal - appointed Lajos Bokros finance minister, Tamas
Suchman minister without portfolio and Gyorgy Suranyi president of the
National Bank of Hungary on Thursday. Documents to this effect were
presented by the President in Parliament to the three officials today.

        Suranyi who was sworn in before the president, told reporters later tha
the National Bank of Hungary, in harmony with the government, had no
intention of devaluing the Hungarian currency, as the economic situation
today did not justify any short term joint action by the government and the
bank of issue.

Biography of the New Finance Minister Lajos Bokros

        Budapest, February 23 (MTI) - The new finance minister Lajos Bokros
was born in Budapest in 1954.

        He received a degree in economic planning at the Budapest Karl Marx
University of Economics in 1978. In 1978-79 he took part in a postgraduate
training course at the state university of Panama where he also completed his
doctoral thesis.

        In 1980 he was appointed a staff member with the Finance Research
Institute attached to the Finance Ministry, where he worked for eight years. He
took part in the work of government commissions preparing the establishment
of a two-tiered banking system. From 1986 he worked as head of the research
department for two years. Meanwhile he took part in a six month course
arranged by the International Monetary Fund in Washington.

        When the Finance Research Institute was wound up, he was transferred
to the National Bank in late 1987 where he first worked as deputy head to the
department of economics and from March 1989 as the bank's executive
director. Meanwhile in 1987 he received a candidate degree in economics. He
was also appointed titular associate professor at the Faculty of Finance at the
Budapest University of Economics.

        He won a seat to Parliament on the Socialist Party's Budapest ticket at

the 1990 free elections, and he held a post in the budget, tax and finance
standing committee from May 3, 1990.

        On June 19, 1990 he was elected president of the Budapest Stock
Exchange, and he resigned his parliamentary seat - for reasons of

        In July 1991 he was elected president and managing director of
Budapest Bank.

        His areas of research include state finances, privatization, capital
investment and the securities market.e has written several books and is a
regular contributor to professional periodicals. In 1985 he got together with
Gyorgy Suranyi to write a work entitled Market and Money in a Modern

        Between 1976 and 1989 he was a member of the Hungarian Socialist
Workers" Party. Under the penance of Rikardo David, he published several
articles, prior to the 1990 change of regime, in the underground Free Democrat
"Beszelo" publication. From 1987 to 1989 he was punished under party rules
for his views and activities on three occasions. He has been a founding
member of the Hungarian Socialist Party, and he considers himself a liberal

Biography of New Minister without Portfolio

        Budapest, February 23 (MTI) - Tamas Suchman was born in Marcali,
Somogy county, western Hungary in 1954.

        He received a law degree from the Janus Pannonius University of Law in
Pecs, southern Hungary in 1980. From 1985 to 1988 he also completed a
course arranged jointly by the Engineer Extension Training Institute at the
Budapest University of Technology and the Society for Urban Studies. In 1972
and 1973 he was a haulage contractor.

        From 1975 to 1989 he worked as an official at the Marcali office of the

Somogy County Council, and later at the town council as head of department.
Since 1989 he has been the director of the Marcali branch of the Budapest

        In 1990 he won a parliamentary seat on his party's national list.
        At the 1994 parliamentary elections he was elected MP in Marcali, the
fifth constituency in Somogy county. He has been deputy chairman of
Parliament's economic committee since last May.

Biography of National Bank President

        Budapest, February 23 (MTI) - Gyorgy Suranyi was born in Budapest on
January 3, 1954. He received a degree in 1977 from the Karl Marx University of
Economics. In 1979 he was appointed associate professor and in 1986 he
gained the Hungarian scholarly degree "candidate" in economics.

        He began his career at the Finance Research Institute in 1977, becoming

secretary in charge of research and later head of department. From 1983 to
1986 he was the secretary of the banking reform committee.

        In 1986 and 1987 he was a consultant to the World Bank in Washington.
After his return to Hungary, in 1988, he was appointed chief consultant, under
Deputy Prime Minister Peter Medgyessy, to the Council of Ministers'
Commission for Economic Planning. Subsequently he became chief
consultant to the Economic Policy Secretariat, which was responsible for
elaborating a programme of liberalization from 1989.

        In 1989 and 1990 he was state secretary at the National Planning Office
and on July 1, 1990 - with the backing of the six main Hungarian political
parties - was appointed president of the National Bank of Hungary, and took
part in the meetings of the government's economic cabinet regularly. With the
entry into effect of the law regulating the central bank, on December 1, 1991,
Suranyi was relieved of his post. His forced departure was associated with his
having signed the so-called Democratic Charter in August 1991.

        In February 1992 he was appointed managing director of the Central
European International Bank Plc (CIB). He is a member of the International
Financial Society and the Finance Committee of the Hungarian Academy of
        He wrote the scholarly works "Opinions on Price Formation in
Hungary", as well as "The Market and Money in a Modern Economy", written
jointly with Lajos Bokros.

Suranyi Expresses Intentions for a Stable Policy

        Budapest, February 23 (MTI) - In agreement with the government, the
National Bank of Hungary (NBH) has no intention of devaluing the forint since
the general economic situation does not call for any concerted measures by
the government and the NBH in the short-term, Gyorgy Suranyi, the new
president of the NBH, told the press on Thursday.

        He confirmed that the government and the central bank do not plan to
devalue the forint in the next few days, either together or separately.
Speculators, counting on devaluation, will be disappointed. Hungary needs a
balanced, calm, and stable policy instead of threatening the public and
corporations with devaluation and inflation, Suranyi said.

        The bank president considers the plans for cutting the public finance
deficit by HUF 120 billion to be feasible. However, he does not believe that it
requires drastic economic measures by the government. He is convinced that
the measures which are to curtail the re-distribution role of the budget should
be reasonable and predictable and have to consider aspects of social justice.
The new president hopes that the government will make the decision on these
measures in the very near future.

        Suranyi does not believe that Hungary will be the next subject of a deb
crisis, that is, a second Mexico, because the conditions are different in
Hungary's case: the Hungarian economy's external debts, the structure of
their maturities, and the capital's flexibility create much more favourable

Slovak Nuclear Plant Safe, Says Hungarian Scientist

        Budapest, February 23 (MTI) - The nuclear power plant being
constructed at Mochovce, Slovakia, comes up to international safety
standards; its technical facilities would prevent the spread of radioactive
pollution over long distances even in the case of an accident, Zoltan Szatmary,
President of the Hungarian Nuclear Society (HNC), told a news conference in
the Budapest Technical University today.

        In the Society's view, the Hungarian press has launched an anti-nuclear

campaign, giving priority to the views of people opposed to the project. This
why the HNC felt itself bound to provide the public with authentic information
on the technical application of nuclear technology at Mochovce.

        From the safety aspect, the Mochovce nuclear power plant would stand
comparison with the Paks plant in southern Hungary. "Since the international
safety checks carried out in Paks found everything in order, we have no
reason to challenge the safety of the Mochovce project," Szatmary said.

        The Slovak investors are trying to meet the requirements laid down by
the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). They have
also promised that once the Mochovce plant is operating, they will shut down
two Chernobyl-type reactors at the Bohunice nuclear power plant. If the
ongoing protests prompt the EBRD to abandon its plan to finance the project,
and it is completed with Russian capital, there will be no guarantee that the
much more dangerous Bohunice plant will be shut down.

Holbrooke Arrives in Hungary

        Budapest, February 23 (MTI) - Richard Holbrooke, U.S. Assistant
Secretary of State with responsibility for European and Canadian affairs, will
arrive in Budapest on Friday to attend a regional meeting of U.S. ambassadors
accredited to Central European countries, MTI learned from the U.S. Embassy

        Holbrooke will inform the ambassadors of his government"s policies
towards the region, with special regard to economic changes, security, the
minorities and environmental protection.

        Currently on a European tour, Holbrooke is scheduled to meet
Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs, Administrative State Secretary of
Foreign Affairs Ferenc Somogyi, Deputy State Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Istvan Pataki, and Ambassador Istvan Gyarmati, the representative of the
Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
(Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs).

Government Spokesman's Briefing

        Budapest, February 23 (MTI) - At its regular Thursday meeting, the
Cabinet discussed measures aimed at restoring economic stability in the short
term, Government Spokesman Elemer Csak told a news conference today. He
added that the issue would be put on the agenda of further Cabinet meetings.

        In today's official statement, the Cabinet said the present economic
situation and state of the balance of payments did not justify any major
devaluation of the forint in the near future, or any change in the current
exchange rate policy of making minor adjustments.

        To dampen short-term speculation in the money markets, the National
Bank of Hungary has increased the repo interest rates for one-day
transactions to 35 per cent, and for one-week transactions to 33 per cent. This
measure is intended to persuade the market that it is not worth speculating
against the forint.

        At MTI's request, the Cabinet discussed the question of government
financial support for the news agency.

        The Cabinet decided to provide MTI with HUF 63 million as a first
installment, enabling the news agency to settle its income tax debts.

        MTI has piled up debts because of high costs and a shortfall in revenue

due to the fact that its subscribers and other clients are reluctant, and in
cases unable, to pay their debts.

        The government was shocked to learn that some newspapers have
revealed state secrets and described some plans as though they were hard
facts, the spokesman said.

        His statement referred to the publication of some of the details of the

government"s short-term plan for restoring economic stability.

        The spokesman suggested that the information had been leaked by a
civil servant.

        The Cabinet meeting was attended by both the new Finance Minister,
Lajos Bokros, and his predecessor, Laszlo Bekesi, who said farewell to his
former colleagues.

        The Cabinet dealt with the ratification of the European Charter on
Minority Languages.

        Csaba Tabajdi, State Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, said the

charter regulated the use of minority languages in education, the courts,
public administration, the mass media, and economic, cultural and social life.

        The government proposed that, in the first phase, Parliament should
approve the charter as binding Hungary with regard to six languages - Croat,
German, Romanian, Serb, Slovak and Slovenian.

        In line with an old agreement, signed in 1992, the cabinet set up a
Hungarian-Slovenian joint committee and named Tabajdi as its Hungarian co-

        The government amended its 1989 decree on refugee reception camps.
>From now on, they will be under the control of the Interior Ministry's Office
Refugee and Migration Affairs. The camps will operate partly as autonomous
organizations financed by government funds. As a result, they should work
more efficiently, and it should be easier to monitor the funds intended to be
used for looking after refugees.

Hungarian-Romanian Talks on Basic Treaty

        Bucharest, February 23 (MTI) - The latest round of the Hungarian-
Romanian expert talks focusing on the basic treaty between the two countries
ended in Bucharest today. The three-day round was the third one since the
resumption of talks last November.

        Hungarian diplomats told MTI that on Thursday the two sides had
completed the whole text of the treaty, except for the clause on national
minorities. This means that they have managed to agree on one of the two
outstanding issues, the border clause.

        Both sides wish to resume the talks on the minority clause shortly, so
that the basic treaty can be still finalized before the Paris conference on a
on Stability in Europe on March 20.

        If the experts fail to come to an agreement on the clause, a political
decision will be required to break the deadlock.

        The Hungarian delegation has confirmed its preparedness to display a
great deal of flexibility in finding appropriate legal solutions but insists
the treaty should not represent a step backwards from the international norms
and conventions accepted previously.

Foreign Ministry Welcomes British-Irish Agreement

        Budapest, February 23 (MTI) - The Hungarian Foreign Ministry welcomes
the historic framework agreement on settling the future of Northern Ireland,
announced by British Prime Minister, John Major and Irish Prime Minister,
John Bruton in Belfast, on February 22, a statement sent to MTI by the foreign
affairs spokesman said.

A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
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Reposting is supported by Hungarian Human Rights Foundation News
and Information Service.

+ - CET - 28 February 1995 (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Tuesday, 28 February 1995
Volume 2, Issue 42


  While Havel was meeting with Scalfaro yesterday, Czech Prime
  Minister Vaclav Klaus was holding talks with visting Hungarian
  Prime Minister Gyula Horn who is asking the Czechs to buy
  Hungarian. Horn wants Klaus to help close the widening trade
  gap between the two countries and wants the Czech government
  to favor Hungary in government contracts for goods such as
  buses from the Ikarus bus company, metro trains and medical
  supplies.  However, Klaus is a conservative free-market
  economist and would not elaborate on Horn's request.  But Klaus
  did say his meeting with Horn gave a boost to efforts to
  ratify agreements on investment protection and the reduction
  of tariffs on agricultural products and other goods. 
  According to Hungarian government statistics, Hungary had a
  $150 million trade deficit with the Czech Republic last year. 
  That's up from $95 million in 1993. --Mark Huntley


  Budapest's city council plans to continue major infrastructure
  projects in Hungary's capital this year despite the
  cancellation last summer of Expo '96.  Budapest Mayor Gabor
  Demszky told a press conference yesterday that the council
  will spend a third of its almost $900 million budget on
  infrastructure projects.  But the city will have to borrow
  about $100 million from Hungarian banks and international
  lending institutions to finance its plans.  Some of the more
  ambitious projects which had been planned for Expo '96 have
  had to be cancelled since Hungary decided not to host the
  fair.  But, Mayor Demszky said yesterday infrastructure
  projects, which should bring investment automatically in their
  wake were still what the city needed most.

  "We only provide the basic infrastructure and everything comes
  very fast after it and we can produce growth through the means
  only of infrastructural investment, we don't need anything

  So, in 1995 Budapest City Council plans to complete the
  Lagymanosi road bridge, which spans the Danube in south
  Budapest and the roads linking the new bridge with Hungary's
  motorway network.  The council also plans to improve the city's
  sewage, water purification and public transport systems.

  In an effort to clean up the city's air, the Budapest
  government will introduce a system of road taxes and toll
  parking in the city center.  It will also renovate the public
  transportation network.  The city won't receive increased
  funding from Hungary's cash-strapped central budget and to
  avoid raising taxes will depend on private sector investment
  and loans from the European Bank of Reconstruction and
  Development, the International Monetary Fund and the World
  Bank to finance the projects. --Lucy Hooker


* CET On-Line - copyright (c) 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.

+ - VoA - Csehorszag/Magyarorszag (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

type=correspondent report
title=  Czech/Hungary (l only)
byline= Barry Wood
dateline= Prague
voiced at:

Intro:  Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn Monday paid a one-
day visit to Prague, where he met his Czech counterpart, Vaclav
Klaus. V-o-A's Barry Wood reports the two leaders met for nearly
two hours.

Text:  The talks focused on economic matters, integration into
the European Union, and NATO. At a joint press conference, it was
apparent that both leaders want to boost bilateral economic

But there were also clear differences of approach on political
matters.  Mr. Horn favors a coordinated approach towards NATO and
the European Union by four neighboring post-communist countries
informally known  as the Visegrad Group.

But Prime Minister Klaus rejects any joint political position by
the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and  Poland. He even
refuses to use the term Visegrad -- which refers to the Hungarian
town where post-communist leaders from then- Czechoslovakia,
Hungary, and Poland met in 1990.

Asked his views on the Visegrad Group, an irritated Mr. Klaus
said every time he meets Mr. Horn he explains -- probably in vain
-- why he does  not   want to use the term Visegrad Group. He
said Hungary and the Czech Republic are  not  rivals and that
good relations with Budapest are very important. But the
emphasis, he said, should be on expanding trade and removing
trade barriers. He hoped Hungary would reduce its duties on Czech
agricultural products.

Mr. Horn also said he hoped the Czech government would consider
purchases of Hungarian buses, rail cars, and medical equipment.
Both leaders admitted that they have different views on the way
Central European countries should approach economic integration
with Western Europe.

On NATO, both leaders spoke of their interest in joining, but
there was  no  discussion of expanded Hungarian-Czech military
cooperation. Joining NATO and the European Union are central
pillars of both Hungarian and Czech foreign policy.

Mr. Klaus said he accepts Mr. Horn's invitation to again visit
Budapest. While in Prague, Mr. Horn also met with Czech president
Vaclav Havel. (Signed)


27-Feb-95 10:09 am est (1509 utc)

source: Voice of America

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.