Hollosi Information eXchange /HIX/
Copyright (C) HIX
Új cikk beküldése (a cikk tartalma az író felelőssége)
Megrendelés Lemondás
1 OMRI Daily Digest - 14 April 1995 (mind)  37 sor     (cikkei)
2 OMRI Daily Digest - 18 April 1995 (mind)  51 sor     (cikkei)
3 CET - 18 April 1995 (mind)  147 sor     (cikkei)
4 Ministry of Foreign Affairs - 11 April 1995 (mind)  153 sor     (cikkei)
5 Ministry of Foreign Affairs - 12 April 1995 - Mozaikba (mind)  263 sor     (cikkei)
6 CET - 14 April 1995 (mind)  293 sor     (cikkei)
7 Ministry of Foreign Affairs - 10 April 1995 (mind)  488 sor     (cikkei)

+ - OMRI Daily Digest - 14 April 1995 (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

OMRI Daily Digest
No. 75, 14 April 1995


COUNCIL OF EUROPE OFFICIAL IN ROMANIA. Miguel Angel Martinez, president
of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, arrived in
Bucharest on 10 April for an official visit, Radio Bucharest reported.
Martinez met the same day with Romanian President Ion Iliescu and on 13
April held talks with Romanian Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu, Foreign
Minister Teodor Melescanu, and members of Romania's delegation to the
Council of Europe. The talks focused on the country's integration into
European structures and its democratic progress. Martinez urged Romania
and Hungary to overcome differences and sign a long-delayed basic
treaty. -- Dan Ionescu

[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 - 18 April 1995 (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

No. 76, 18 April 1995

SLOVAK OPPOSITION CRITICIZES CABINET. Representatives of the opposition
Democratic Union and Party of the Democratic Left, meeting on 13 April
to discuss ways to cooperate in the parliament, agreed that "an
authoritarian regime with a concentration of economic power" is being
built in Slovakia, Narodna obroda and Pravda reported on 15 April. PDL
Chairman Peter Weiss warned that the policies of the Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia are becoming "right-wing to extreme right-wing." DU
Chairman Jozef Moravcik added that privatization is benefiting a narrow
group of individuals rather than citizens in general. He added that the
parliament can ratify the Hungarian-Slovak treaty only after the
conflict over the inclusion of Council of Europe Recommendation 1201 is
cleared up. Both parties warned that recent declarations by Slovak
National Party members glorifying Jozef Tiso, who was Slovak president
during World War II, are damaging the country's image abroad. -- Sharon
Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

government, in a bid to channel illegal revenues from the black economy
to the state budget, has decided to set up a group charged with
investigating black market activities, Magyar Hirlap reported on 14
April. Elemer Kiss, state secretary in the Prime Minister's Office,
announced that the group will be composed of officials from the National
Police Headquarters, the Tax Office, the National Customs and Excise
Office, the Border Guards, and the National Security Office. He said the
group, to be headed by an official from the Prime Minister's Office,
will "strictly apply current legislation and exclude publicity." An
additional 250 police officers are to investigate economic crimes. --
Edith Oltay, 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.

+ - CET - 18 April 1995 (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Tuesday, 18 April 1995
Volume 2, Issue 76


  The Budapest Stock Exchange said its revenues last year were
  well beyond expectations, while expenditures were down.  The
  exchange reported revenues last year of $3 million.  It had
  planned on only $2.3 million.  Expenditures were about
  $100,000 less than expected. These figures were released
  following the bourse's annual general meeting late last week.
  Also at the meeting, the members of the Stock Exchange elected
  university professor Janos Szaz to head the bourse council.
  He'll replace outgoing council chairman Lajos Bokros, who
  became Hungary's finance minister last month.


  By David Fink

  Hungary should have its first post-communist environmental law
  this year.  The Environment Ministry said the legislation will
  bring Hungary in line with European Union standards.  But
  environmental groups and opposition parties said the bill
  falls short.

  Despite one of the highest population densities in Europe,
  Hungary still has plenty of pristine nature, forests, fields,
  and gentle mountain streams.  And most people think the
  country's environment should be protected.   But not everyone
  agrees on how to prevent pollution.  A new environment bill
  proposed by the government has caused an uproar and triggered
  500 proposed amendments in Parliament.  Peter Szilagyi is a
  counselor in the law-making department of the Ministry of
  Environment and Regional Development.  He said he doesn't know
  what all the fuss is about.  Szilagyi said the bill would set
  up a broad environmental policy that would bring Hungary's
  environmental code up to European standards.

  "The environmental law in force now came into effect in 1976, so
  it's a bit old.  The social and economic changes made a new
  law necessary.  If we want to join the European Union we also
  have to adjust ourselves to EU directives."

  Critics of the legislation said it isn't specific enough and
  therefore doesn't actually solve Hungary's environmental
  problems.  Zoltan Illyes is vice-president of the opposition
  party Federation of Young Democrats.

  "There are some declarations about the wells.  Everybody would
  like to have better living conditions, better air quality,
  water quality, but as I mentioned already, who will do what is
  not written in that act."

  But Szilagyi said the ministry has prepared a more specific bill
  that would flesh out its environmental policy.  For example,
  it would tax environmentally unfriendly items like tires,
  packaging materials, and coolants with CFCs, or
  chloro-flouro-carbons, which damage the Earth's ozone layer.

  "These are products which are a burden on the environment.
  These fees will be given to an environmental protection fund
  run by the ministry, that will serve to reduce the effects of
  environmental damage."

  But Illyes doesn't like this bill, either, in part because the
  tax would be based on weight.  Illyes said that means
  environmentally-friendly materials like glass would be taxed
  more than plastics.  Illyes thinks what he sees as the
  shortcomings of the government's environmental policy are due
  to the fact that the environmental ministry prepared the
  legislation too quickly because of political pressure to
  produce a bill.

  Environmental groups agree.  Gyorgy Droppa is vice president
  of the Green Alternative Party.  He said environmental
  organizations' suggestions weren't taken seriously by the

  "What is hurting us also is that they were not taking the Green
  movements as real partners.  They were not counting on the
  opinion.  The Green groups were only barking from the

  With so much criticism from both inside and outside Parliament,
  there's a good chance the bill will be altered before it's
  voted on.   So Hungary will definitely have a new
  environmental law, the only question is how specific its
  safeguards will be.


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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 - 11 April 1995 (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. 72/1995                                                             11 Apri
l 1995

Prime Minister Receives Osamu Suzuki

        Budapest, April 10 (MTI) - Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn and
Osamu Suzuki, President of the Suzuki Motor Corporation, held talks in
Budapest on Monday.

        The main topic of their discussion was the general economic and
political situation in Hungary Suzuki told journalists after the meeting. "We
not make any special requests from the Prime Minister," he said in answer to a
question as to whether the future public procurement legislation was discussed
and, if it was, whether the new legislation would mean that Hungarian Suzuki
Co. would get major orders from the state.

        The details will be discussed with officials from the Industry and Trad
Ministry and the Transport, Water Management and Telecommunications
Ministry. Osamu Suzuki is to hold talks with several ministers over the next
days, and will attend the annual general meeting of the Hungarian Suzuki Co.

Minister of Industry Meets Suzuki

        Budapest, April 10 (MTI) - Hungarian Suzuki Plc will soon launch a HUF
2 to 3 billion project to expand the range of cars it makes in the west
Hungarian town of Esztergom, said Osamu Suzuki, chairman of Japanese
carmakers Suzuki at a meeting with Laszlo Pal, the Hungarian Minister of
Industry and Trade, here today. Suzuki promise to start producing hatchback
Swift passenger cars later this month, and the assembly of four wheel drive
passenger cars for Subaru (Fuji Heavy Industry) from this summer.
        Pal talked to his Japanese guest about the government's stabilization
package announced on March 12, and the 8 per cent import customs
surcharge introduced on March 20. The minister stressed that these measures
were giving benefits to foreign investors with a production base in Hungary.

NATO Handbook in Hungarian

        Budapest, April 10 (MTI) - The latest NATO handbook has been
published in Hungary, in Hungarian, one week after its English-language
version came out in Brussels.

        The book, published by the Strategic and Defence Research Institute of
the Ministry of Defence, was shown to journalists at a press conference in the
ministry on Monday. Also present were representatives from the offices of
military attach{s serving in Budapest.

        Ferenc Gazdag, director of the Research Institute, said this is the
second time that NATO's handbook has been published in Hungary. The new
publication deals for the first time with NATO's peace-keeping activity, with
reference especially to the crisis in former Yugoslavia.

        Other new topics are the chapters dealing with ways to prevent the
spread of weapons of mass destruction and NATO's Partnership for Peace
programme. Over the last three years, NATO's ground forces have been cut
by 25 per cent and its naval forces by 10 per cent, according to the handbook.

        Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence Tibor Toth said that
present in Hungary fairly unspectacular work is going on related to Hungary's
integration into NATO. Experts are working on the implementation of the
Partnership for Peace programme, and on tasks related to the enlargement of

Talks on Austrian-Hungarian Border Traffic

        Budapest, April 10 (MTI) - Talks were held at expert level in Gyor,
western Hungary, today on ways to avoid Austrian-Hungarian border delays.
        Hungarian delegates were led by Sandor Nyiri, deputy state secretary at

the Ministry of the Interior, and the Austrian team by Manfred Matzka,
department head at the Interior Ministry. Later they told reporters that
would join the Schengen agreement on April 28, which regulates checks on
external borders of the European Union.  It may not take force until 1997 since
Austria's accession is yet to be ratified by all signatory countries. The
experiment on tightened checks in March - described at Monday's talks as an
unpleasant incident - is a warning sign that the two countries" officials have
something to discuss.

        The idea is to put into force, after bilateral talks, the instructions
by the
ministers of the interior before late May to ensure that no snags disrupt
summer tourism.

        Austria promised to guarantee smooth traffic at Easter. Nyiri also said

that his staff has been working on strengthening Hungary's eastern border
from the start of this year in an effort to keep undesirable people out of

Kovacs: We Think Along EU Lines

        Luxembourg, April 10 (MTI) - Hungary is in line with the position
advocated by the European Union on harmonization, stressed Hungarian
Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs, after a Luxembourg conference for the Six
countries that had concluded associate agreements with the EU, and those
from the EU member countries. He also had a short meeting with Romanian
Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu on the state of the bilateral basic treaty.

        In connection with the White Book that will be finalized at the EU summ
in June, Kovacs said everyone agreed that it should not be legally binding, but
will represent a major document for preparations on accession and not on
would-be accession proper. The delegates paid tribute to the Hungarian-
Slovak basic treaty, and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe who acted as
chairman, asked the Hungarian and the Romanian foreign ministers for
discussions about progress on the Hungarian-Romanian basic treaty talks.
Kovacs said another Hungarian-Romanian meeting at expert level would be
held in coming days.

Melescanu Optimistic About Hungarian- Romanian Basic Treaty

        Luxembourg, April 10 (MTI) - "Talks will resume at expert level, and I
hope that we can shortly finalize the texts of the Hungarian-Romanian basic
treaty," said Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu in a short interview
for MTI here today. He stressed that his meeting with Hungarian Foreign
Minister Laszlo Kovacs had filled him with hope but as he had agreed with
Kovacs, he would not give a date for finishing the basic treaty. At the same
time he confirmed that practically only one question had been left open,
recommendation 1201 of the Council of Europe on treating minority rights.

        "There are various interpretations, but we shall try to find a way to
bridge this problem," he 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.

+ - Ministry of Foreign Affairs - 12 April 1995 - Mozaikba (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. 73/1995                                                             12 Apri
l 1995

EBRD: Hungarian Finance Minister's Speech

        London, April 11 (MTI) - Speaking at the annual general meeting of
the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on
Tuesday, Hungarian Finance Minister Lajos Bokros outlined the economic
stabilization package announced by the government in March. He said the
planned radical cuts in the budget deficit were the first steps leading to
budgetary conditions in line with the standards laid down by the EU at
Maastricht. The other pillar of the stabilization programme is the continuation
and even acceleration of privatization.

        According to Bokros, the government's measures are no substitute
for a comprehensive programme to modernize the economy which is at the
same time acceptable to society. Therefore, the Hungarian government has
already begun drafting its medium-term modernization package, which
provides the guidelines for future economic policy, he added.

        Concerning the EBRD's presence in Hungary, Bokros praised the
bank for increasing its support for the target countries even in the face of
their strict austerity measures. At the same time, he added, the government
is slightly worried to see the falling number of new EBRD initiatives in
Hungary. However, the stabilization programme and accelerating
privatization will offer further opportunities to the EBRD in Hungary, he said.
(Before the annual general meeting, top officials from the EBRD's Hungarian
section also admitted that the bank had hardly participated in any new
Hungarian programmes, but they explained this by the fact that the
privatization process in Hungary had been at a standstill for about a year.)

        Bokros concluded by saying that an increase in the EBRD's capital
stock was vitally important for the continued support of the restructuring
programmes in the target countries.

EBRD - Statement by Minister of Finance

        London, April 11 (MTI) - Hungarian Minister of Finance Lajos Bokros
proposed today that the Hungarian government should vote for the financing
by the EBRD of the nuclear power plant, now under construction in
Mochovce, Slovakia, the minister himself told MTI today.

        Bokros would like the Hungarian government to adopt his position. He
said if the international community provided assistance to complete the
project, it would obviously be able to influence the power plant with regard to
safety and environmental protection features.

        During the annual general meeting of the EBRD Bokros had
discussions with British Chancellor of the Exchequer Kenneth Clarke and
German Finance Minister Theo Waigel.

        Bokros said he had emphasized that Hungary "had finally set off
along the path of the second stage of reforms."

        In talks with Waigel Bokros raised the possibility of Hungary drawing
on another long-term loan, mainly to finance large-scale investments.

OSCE Mission Approved for Chechnya

        Budapest, April 11 (MTI) - The Permanent Council of the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Tuesday approved a proposal to
set up a mission in Chechnya later this month, Ambassador Istvan
Gyarmati, commissioned by the chairman-in-office of the OSCE, told
reporters today.

        Sandor Meszaros, the future leader of the mission, who was also
present at the press briefing, told reporters that he and Gyarmati would
travel to Moscow and Grozny later this week to supervise preparations for
the arrival of the six-member representation.

        The Permanent Council of the OSCE has granted a two million dollar
budget to cover operational costs in the first six months.

        The main task of the mission is to monitor the observance of human
rights and to draw attention to any violations, said Meszaros.

        It will also provide assistance in developing a democratic system of
institutions, preparing a new constitution and in the more distant future help
to prepare for elections and supervise them.

        The six representatives of the OSCE (who, apart from the Hungarian
leader of the mission, will include diplomats from the United States, France,
Sweden, Switzerland and Poland) are likely to meet with many difficulties
initially since, for instance, they will have to rely on continuous supplies of
drinking water and food from outside.

        Meanwhile Meszaros is optimistic that relations with the local
authorities, the Russian authorities and the district commanders will be

        According to the terms of the resolution passed by the OSCE
Permanent Council the strength of the mission could be doubled if it needs
to be.

Polish Prime Minister Expected In Budapest

        Budapest, April 11 (MTI) - Foreign ministry spokesman Gabor
Szentivanyi told his usual weekly press briefing today that Polish Prime
Minister Jozef Oleksy would visit Hungary for talks on April 23 at the
invitation of Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn.

        No detailed programme is available but it is certain that the talks wil
concentrate on economic issues, including strengthening cooperation
among the countries of the Visegrad group, and on the efforts of the two
countries to join NATO and the EU.

        Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs will attend the UN
conference to review and extend the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, in New
York on April 17, 18 and 19. In his address on April 18 he will explain the
position of the Hungarian government on this treaty, which is vital for

        Kovacs, as chairman-in-office of the OSCE, is due to meet UN
Secretary General Boutros Ghali, the chairman of the Security Council and a
number of foreign ministers.

        On April 19, 20 and 21 Kovacs will pay a working visit to Washington
for talks with senior officials at the State Department and the White House,
representatives from business and leaders of ethnic Hungarians living in
        Kovacs's visit will focus on bilateral ties, preparations for the visit
Prime Minister Gyula Horn due in June, and enhancing confidence in

        On April 19, Norwegian foreign ministry state secretary Siri Bjerke wil
arrive in Hungary at the invitation of foreign ministry state secretary Istvan

        Bjerke is expected to hold talks with foreign ministry administrative
state secretary Ferenc Somogyi, OSCE ambassador Istvan Gyarmati, Tibor
Toth, deputy state secretary at the Defence Ministry and Imre Szekeres,
head of the parliamentary group of the Hungarian Socialist Party.

        They will ask Bjerke for assurances that Norway will help Hungary in
its efforts to integrate into Europe by joining NATO.

        The European Integration Interministerial Commission will hold its
fourth session at the Hungarian Foreign Ministry on April 19 to discuss and
accept a governmental communication strategy in preparation for Hungary's
accession to the EU.

        Foreign ministers from the Central European Initiative will meet in
Krakow on April 21 and 22 to hold a CEI Association Council meeting where
they will discuss integration into Europe and the Yugoslav crisis.

        The spokesman outlined the Ministry's position regarding the recent
Turkish military operations in Northern Iraq. Hungary condemns all forms of
terrorism, understands Turkey's legitimate security interests but is
concerned over an extension of the military operations and is convinced that
this crisis can only be resolved through political means.

        Szentivanyi also said at the press briefing that the Romanians had not
yet replied to the question of when talks on the basic treaty could be

        Budapest has proposed April 24 as the date for the next round of

        He said the Foreign Ministry had summoned Romania's ambassador
in Budapest ten days ago and asked him to explain the Romanian decree
that the use of foreign flags is illegal on Romanian territory. An answer from
the Romanians has not yet been received.

Hungarian-Japanese Talks

        Budapest, April 11 (MTI) - Hungarian Minister of Industry and Trade
Laszlo Pal and Sakamoto Joshihiro, Japanese deputy Minister at the
Ministry of International Industry and Trade held talks here today on
economic and scientific cooperation between the two countries.

        In order to promote bilateral economic ties Hungary would like to see
access to markets made easier.

        Last year Hungary piled up a sizable deficit.

        Hungarian exports totalled USD 91.9 million, while imports
approached USD 393 million.

        At the talks it was agreed that the results of the 54 Japanese-
Hungarian joint ventures operating in Hungary were positive. These
companies have to date invested about USD 200 million worth of capital in

        The Japanese Ministry of International Industry and Trade pledged to
encourage Japanese businessmen to seek further investment opportunities
in Hungary.

        In order to support the process of economic transformation in
Hungary, the Japanese offered to share their experience through organizing
training courses and training specialists.

        Japan considers cooperation in the field of research and development

        The two sides agreed that closer ties should be forged between the
Hungarian Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Japanese Ministry of
International Industry and Trade, and to this end they plan to hold further
consultations at expert level.

Pianist Annie Fischer Dies

        Budapest, April 11 (MTI) - Pianist Annie Fischer died on April 10, her
next of kin reported today. Her funeral will take place at Budapest's
Farkasreti cemetery at 3 p.m. on April 21.

        Born in 1914, Annie Fischer studied music at the Ferenc Liszt College
of Music under Arnold Szekely and Erno Dohnanyi.

        She gave her first concert in Budapest in 1922.

        In 1933 she won the first prize in the Liszt piano competition.

        From 1941 to 1946 she lived in Sweden, and from that time on gave
concerts in many parts of the world.

        She performed under the baton of such eminent conductors as
Klemperer and Karajan.

        Annie Fischer was awarded Hungary's prestigious Kossuth Prize in
1949, 1955 and 1965. On October 23, 1994 she was awarded the Order of
Merit of the Republic of Hungary.

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 - 14 April 1995 (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Friday, 14 April 1995
Volume 2, Issue 74


  The president of the Council of Europe's parliamentary
  assembly is urging Romania and Hungary to sign their
  long-delayed basic treaty.  Miguel Angel Martinez met with
  Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu yesterday.
  Bucharest said the treaty talks have been held up by disputes
  over Romania's large ethnic Hungarian minority.  Budapest
  blames Romania for not agreeing to include Recommendation 1201
  of the Council of Europe in the treaty.  The recommendation
  called for a degree of autonomy for ethnic and racial
  minorities.  Romanian President Ion Illiescu claimed
  Recommendation 1201 isn't as effective in protecting minority
  rights as existing agreements.  Yesterday, Martinez partially
  agreed with him and said 1201 is out of date.

  Eight powerful leaders of the United States Congress have
  warned east European governments that their relationship with
  Washington could suffer unless Jewish property confiscated by
  the Nazis and then nationalized by the Communists is returned.
  In a letter to US Secretary of State Warren Christopher, the
  eight leaders said the way 13 east European states respond to
  the question could "have practical consequences on their
  relations with our country."  Poland, the Czech Republic and
  Hungary were among the 13 nations mentioned.  The letter said
  it should be the clear policy of the United States that each
  East and Central European country should quickly enact
  legislation providing for prompt restitution or compensation
  for seized property.  Among the American leaders signing the
  letter, House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader
  Bob Dole.


  Hungary has decided to check into privatizing the state-owned
  HungarHotels chain again.  It's asked its two state
  privatization bodies to come up with a new plan for selling
  off the 14-hotel group.  This comes after months of hesitation
  about what to do with HungarHotels.  In January, the
  government scrapped plans to sell 51 percent of the chain to
  Dallas-based American General Hospitality for $57.5 million.

  Hungary's State Property Agency has sold most of a 90 percent
  stake in the car electronics maker Autovill to the US firm
  Delco Remy America.  A small part of the share was sold to a
  group of Autovill employees and management who'll pay in
  compensation coupons.  The remaining shares will be offered to
  workers at a preferential price.

  Crude oil has begun to flow again along the Adria pipeline to
  Hungary.  The country's national oil company MOL expects to
  receive more than 31,000 tons of oil, the first part of a
  50,000 ton shipment that's been stuck in the pipeline since it
  closed in 1991.  MOL is negotiating for new shipments and
  regular operation of the pipeline.  The Adria flows through
  the Serb-held Krajina region of Croatia.  It connects
  refineries in Central Europe with the Adriatic Sea.


  By Emmanuelle Richard

  As governments around the region are gradually whittling away
  at social programs, they're encouraging private employers to
  provide benefits for their workers.  One example of this, food
  vouchers, have really caught on.

  Let's say you own a small business and employ 20 people.  You
  want to give them a tax-free benefit.  So, you look into
  offering them food vouchers.  Here's how they work: you buy a
  certain number of vouchers for each employee per month.  They
  can be used at restaurants and supermarkets that display a
  sticker with the logo of the company you bought the vouchers
  from.  The voucher company then reimburses the restaurant or
  food store.  There are three private companies that offer
  vouchers that can be used throughout Hungary: the Hungarian
  firm Tickett and two French-based companies: Sodixo and Ticket
  restaurant.  As long as employees aren't getting more than
  about $10 a month in the food vouchers, they're tax-free.
  Arnaud Regnault is the director of the Hungarian branch of
  Ticket Restaurant.

  "We must first have a good law.  It means for companies, to give
  allowances to the employees completely free of tax.  That`s
  the case in Hungary, in the Czech Republic, in Slovakia and in

  Poland is the only Central European country which doesn`t allow
  tax free food vouchers.  Elsewhere in Central Europe neither
  participating companies nor their employees have to pay taxes.
  Marina Reig is senior account executive at Lintas Advertising
  Agency and a Ticket Restaurant client.

  "It's a good way for the company to give an extra salary each
  month to the employees, that we couldn't give without Ticket
  Restaurant because as you might know, it`s out of tax, the
  company doesn't pay extra tax for these and the employee can
  use it in shops and many restaurants."

  For Hungarian Trade Union Federation President Peter Voros, the
  food coupons can make up for some of the cuts in social
  programs which are accompanying the region's transition to

  "We think having a warm meal is one of the most important
  achievments of the social system.  If people can't get a
  proper meal during their workday, they won't be productive.
  That's why the Hungarian state had to support this luncheon
  voucher system."

  Restaurants also welcome state support for the voucher program.
  They say the vouchers help them develop a loyal customer base
  and increase efficiency.  Peter Donhal owns Pizzeria Nero in
  the business center of Budapest.  He weighed the pros and

  "The advantage of the system is that no cash is needed so that I
  can give lunch to more customers in a certain period of time.
  On the other hand, it's a disadvantage that the repayment may
  take 10 days, which I think is a bit too long."

  And there's always the danger of counterfeit food vouchers.
  Ticket Restaurant claims its vouchers are very difficult to
  copy, but it will reimburse its clients for fakes.
  Counterfeiting aside, there can be another problem with the
  vouchers: choice.  Tamas Karsai is a journalist at the
  Hungarian daily economic paper Napi Gazdasag.  He said his
  paper's employees don't like Ticket Restaurant vouchers.

  "Before that, we used another food contribution coupon and the
  employees complained that the shops available through Ticket
  Restaurant were too expensive compared to the shops available
  through the previous system."

  Be that as it may, the Hungarian government is now considering
  whether to raise the $10 tax free limit on the vouchers.  And,
  as the old communist cradle-to-grave system continues to erode
  away, that's welcome news for employees who've come to depend
  on them.


  Interview with Alison Lys, Hungarian Ministry of Labor
  By Duncan Shiels

  Lys and the Hungarian Ministry of Labor's 216 staff members are
  trying to cope with more than 500,000 Hungarians now
  officially registered jobless.  Lys said that in Hungary,
  unemployment is a relatively recent phenomenon.

  Lys: Individuals aren't used to being unemployed, they're not
  used to their parents or friends being unemployed, so the
  psychological effect is far more deeply wounding than it is in
  the UK where it's been an accepted part of the workforce and
  where your lifespan, your working life, usually includes a bit
  of unemployment.

  CET: Who's devastated the most, the young, the old or people
  who've held jobs for longer?

  Lys: The young are the quickest to become unhappy with the
  situation because they've recently left school.  They'd been
  led to expect that they'd always have a career waiting for
  them and it just isn't there.  Older people who are in the
  midst of their career are very unhappy when they become
  unemployed, but they seem to be more resigned to it, probably
  because they're more aware of the changing situation.  The
  people at the end of their working lives are in big
  difficulties because the pension system is very small and
  isn't what they'd been led to expect, which would allow them
  to survive after work.  So that provides another crisis at the
  end of their working lives.

  CET: We've had these new measures announced a couple of months
  ago which for the moment affect mainly child benefits and
  social security.  But presumably the axe will fall on
  pensions, so there's this added problem of the government
  having to tighten its belt at the moment when more needs to be

  Lys: Exactly, and I think that's causing the most immediate
  crisis at the moment.  They've had to work on short-term
  measures for the first four years of this new progress and
  they now have to deal with a problem which is just around the
  corner, which is running out of money.  They're having to do
  more and more with less and less funds.

  CET: Let's go on to specific projects.  There are a couple
  which the British government is financing from its know-how
  fund. One is in Bacskiskun County south of Budapest.  That's
  described as a regional development partnership.  A
  partnership in what sense?

  Lys: The most important thing about the partnership approach is
  that it uses the existing infrastructure of a community but
  also the informal structure is brought in.  You can't expect
  the employment service, which is run by the central government,
  to find new jobs.  They can only alleviate the problems of the
  unemployed while they're unemployed.  The municipality
  structure, until recently, didn't feel they had a role in
  helping to solve the problem of unemployment because there was
  a central structure designed to do that.  The whole point
  about the partnership in Bacskiskun is that we bring the
  municipalities together with the employment service equivalent
  and the training organizations, who are actively involved:
  schools and the enterprise agency and they come together to
  tackle the root of the problem which is to find new jobs,
  which can't be done without attaching some importance to
  regeneration of the economy.

  CET: That regeneration of the local economy as a method of
  tackling unemployment.  It seems strange in that isn't
  everyone trying to do that?  What does that mean in practical
  terms for a project like this?  How can you regenerate an
  economy by simply applying measures that only a ministry of
  employment can apply?

  Lys: It's not measures that only the ministry of employment can
  apply.  It's more important that the other partners are
  involved in the economic regeneration aspects.  A lot of it is
  to do with morale.  If the community is working together to
  make its environment better, it makes the place more
  attractive to potential investors straightaway, and you may
  not have spent any money at that point, you may just have made
  people aware and committed to their community.


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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 - 10 April 1995 (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Sajnos a Kulugyminiszterium a hirkozlemenyeket nem naponta, 
hanem nagyobb idokozonkent, nagyobb mennyisegbe tovabbitja. 
Igy elnezest kerek a rendszertelen es az oriasi terje-
delmu tovabbterjesztesert, ami valojaban nem az en hibam. 

Buchwald Amy


>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. 71/1995=09=09=09=09=09=09=09=0910 April 1995=20

International Conference on Security Policy

=09Budapest, April 7 (MTI) - Hungary will to a certain extent move on=
again to the borderline between the East and West, now that Austria w=
shortly become a party to the Schengen Agreement.

=09As a result, all kinds of migration will represent added security =
for Hungary, said retired minister Andras Galszecsy who once supervis=
the secret services. He was addressing the international conference "=
Security of Central Europe Today and the Year 2000" in Budapest today=

=09Addressing the second day of the conference, arranged by the=20
Friedrich Ebert Foundation, he pointed out that two topics, war and=
economic refugees represented a genuine challenge in the subject of=

=09War refugees cannot be regarded as persons who illegally cross=
borders, but a tragedy will still occur if their number suddenly incr=
eases. He=20
cited two recent examples: the Romanian revolution and the refugees f=

=09Most of these refugees arrive in Hungary illegally and mainly come=
=66rom neighbouring countries, from Ukraine and Romania and to a less=
extent from the territory of the former Yugoslavia.

=09He said economic refugees were causing a major crime-related=20
problem, as many of these persons committed acts of crime just to mak=
e a=20

=09The former minister also said that neither Hungary nor Europe has =
definite migration policy. He added that one principle prevails in We=
Europe, the principle of 'all should stay at home,' which is not a mi=

=09Professor Geza Finszter, director of the Hungarian Research Instit=
in Charge of Law Enforcement Studies, gave a lecture on recent=20
developments in international crime, explaining that criminologists o=
ught to=20
make self-criticism. They should spell it out that crime fighting met=
focusing on perpetrators and criminal proceedings that considered the=
perpetrators as unfortunate victims who could be reeducated have turn=
out to be wrong.

=09He said this erroneous approach has largely contributed to making=
crime an international problem.

Hungarian Parliamentary Delegation in Vienna

=09Vienna, April 7 (MTI) - Austrian Foreign Minister Alois Mock and=
Chancellor Franz Vranitzky today assured a six-party delegation from =
Hungarian Parliament, headed by Speaker Zoltan Gal, that Austria=20
supported Hungary's goal to join the European Union in every way, Gal=
members of the delegation told reporters at the Hungarian embassy in=
Vienna today.

=09Gal said the two legislatures intend to discuss issues in specific=

=09Gal had talks in Vienna with the political intention that Austria'=
accession to the EU result in a rapprochement for the two countries.

=09Austria supports Hungary's future accession, and will give all the=
support it can, Gal told media representatives.

=09On the other hand the Austrian leaders share the view that the=
accession of the reformist countries (the former socialist countries)=
be treated as a single bloc.

=09Gal said his talks conducted with Chancellor Vranitzky and Foreign=
Minister Mock - and with Speaker of Parliament Heinz Fischer on Thurs=
day -=20
also touched on the negative impact that Austria's accession to the E=
could have on Hungary.

=09Gal said he was assured by his negotiating partners that it was in=
Austria's interest as well to see the outer border of the EU establis=
hed along=20
Hungary's eastern frontier.

=09Gal expressed the Hungarian intention to establish stringent and=
technically complex establishments vital for an "eastern screen" alon=
Hungary's eastern border.
=09He added he hoped that Hungary would receive sufficient financial=
support to finance such a project.

=09Gal said an imminent and attainable goal was to hammer out effecti=
cooperation in combating crime.

Horn Proposes Changes in Legislation Timetable

=09Budapest, April 7 (MTI) - In a letter to Speaker of Parliament Zol=
Gal, Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn proposed changes in the=20
legislation timetable for restoring the country's financial and econo=
stability. In addition to its original plan, Parliament should approv=
e nine
eight of which are connected with the government's austerity package=
announced on March 12.

=09The government proposes Parliament in May should discuss a bill on=
implementing the economic stabilization scheme, a draft supplementary=
budget, a bill on restoring the solvency of municipal authorities, an=
proposed amendments to the Labour Code and the law on the promotion o=
employment and care for the unemployed.

=09In June, Parliament should amend vocational training, public=20
education, and securities laws, and discuss bills on customs tariffs,=
banks for homebuilders, foreign exchange management, state secrets an=
national security services.

=09Furthermore, MPs should consider the ratification of the Hungarian=
Slovak basic treaty and the framework agreement signed with NATO on t=
peace partnership scheme.

=09In the letter, Horn hoped that Parliament would be able to cope, u=
house rules and a justified increase in sittings.

Defence Minister on Effects of Yugoslav War

=09Budapest, April 7 (MTI) - At the request of south Hungarian mayors=
Defence Minister Gyorgy Keleti spoke in Mohacs today about potential=
effects of the Yugoslav war.

=09The government's national security cabinet follows the situation w=
constant attention, he said, adding that Hungary, also in its capacit=
y as=20
OSCE Chairman-in-Office, advocates a peaceful, diplomatic solution to=
=09Should the situation so require, the Hungarian army may demonstrat=
its preparedness to defend the country's sovereignty by the time-hono=
method of reinforcing the air and land forces stationed in the region=
. As=20
stipulated in the defence law, the High Command of the Armed Forces a=
the National Command of the Frontier Guards maintain close links with=
another, Keleti said.

Conference on New International Order

=09Budapest, April 7 (MTI) - "Hungarians do not feel that they have=
moved closer to full NATO and EU membership since 1990," Hungarian=
Parliamentary State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Istvan Szent-Ivanyi =
told a=20
conference entitled "From Cold War to =B4Cold Peace=B4: changes in th=
international system and order" in Budapest today. It was organized b=
y the=20
Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

=09In the state secretary's view, the process of integration, which i=
s slow=20
in any case, is getting even slower. "This is not a complaint, only t=
statement of a fact," he said.

=09"The title of my paper =B4Hungarian foreign policy and the new=
European order=B4 was chosen by the organizers but I would consider i=
t more=20
proper to speak about the new disorder that followed the collapse of=
communist regimes in Europe," Szent-Ivanyi said.

=09Hungary understands that the European Union is focusing on its own=
transformation. This is why its member states differ over the Eastern=
European candidates, the state secretary said.

=09But Hungary would like NATO and the EU to fix precise times for=
joining because the gap between West and East keeps widening. "This g=
can only be closed by clear incentives," Szent-Ivanyi said.

=09Hungary would welcome talks on its admission to the EU starting in=
1997, after the EU review conference, and if it were among the first=
countries from this region to join the organization, he said.

=09Hungary puts prime importance on joining NATO, and hopes that the=
military alliance will decide next year which countries to admit at w=
hat time=20
and in what form, Szent-Ivanyi said.

=09The state secretary emphasized that the Hungarian government=20
made every possible effort to improve ties and develop cooperation wi=
th the=20
neighbouring countries and supported the legitimate organizations of =
Hungarians abroad.

Prime Minister on Hungarian Radio

=09Budapest, April 8 (MTI) - "I am asking not for the country's trust=
, but=20
for its patience," said Prime Minister Gyula Horn in Hungarian Radio'=
Saturday afternoon news magazine "16 Hours". The interviewer asked th=
prime minister, whose popularity has significantly declined recently,=
 what it=20
might cost the government to carry through the Bokros programme, the=
austerity measures aimed at stabilizing the economy.

=09"I believe in the Bokros programme because it undertakes to show=
the way out of the debt crisis and to simultaneously provide the cond=
itions of=20
economic growth,", Horn said.

=09The plan of the budget reform, which the government also wishes to=
discuss with the social partners, will be completed by the end of Apr=
il, the=20
prime minister said. By the end of May, a three-year economic policy=
programme will be drawn up as part of the country's strategic plan to=
 join the=20
European Union. These are preconditions for Hungary conducting talks =
merit with major international institutions, Horn explained.

=09The austerity programme is backed by the majority of the MPs of th=
Hungarian Socialist Party (HSP) and by its coalition partner, the All=
iance of=20
Free Democrats. "But I know that the (Socialist) party's parliamentar=
deputies and members have to be convinced day by day, again and again=
that it is necessary to implement the programme", said Horn. On April=
 10 the=20
HSP's parliamentary group will hold a longer session which will be al=
attended by the prime minister because he wants to explain the Social=
MPs the reasons behind the latest moves of the government.

=09The prime minister rejected the accusation that he had not fulfill=
ed the=20
promises he had made during the election campaign. He promised only t=
1994 and 1995 would be a period of setting the economy in order, not =
period of improvement. "When I said this, I did not know how bad the =
of the economy actually was," Horn said.

=09The government is often accused of having lost its social sensitiv=
In answer to this, the prime minister pointed out that the government=
, even=20
in the midst of the strictest austerity measures, pays attention to t=
he need of
the different layers of society. Those who are not well-off will not =
of welfare benefits and they will be exempted from paying tuition fee=
s, while=20
those who earn more will have to pay more. The government is also try=
ing to=20
stop the overspending of major national institutions.

=09In answer to a question, the prime minister said he would like the=
media bill to be passed this autumn at the latest. Experts are alread=
examining the possibility of a concession for Channel Two of Hungaria=
Television. The government wants to ensure that this channel preserve=
public-service character - devote air time to political, minority, ch=
urch and=20
other social organizations also in the future, Horn said.

CEFTA to Accelerate Dismantling Protective Duties

=09Brno, April 9 (MTI) - The trade ministers of the member states of =
Central European Free Trade Association (CEFTA) reached an agreement=
in Brno on Sunday that they would bring forward the deadline by one y=
for the dismantling of protective duties on all industrial products. =
The only=20
exemption will be road vehicles as Poland wants to maintain tariffs o=
n these=20
until 2002, said Hungarian Minister of Industry and Trade Laszlo Pal =
summing up the talks CEFTA countries and Slovenia held on Sunday.

=09The ministerial meeting was organized parallel to the 26th Brno fa=
ir of=20
consumables. The agreements on the speeding up of the liberalization =
trade will come into force - simultaneously with the Polish-Slovenian=
trade agreement - on January 1, 1996.

=09The ministers continued the coordination of the liberalization of=
agricultural trade and discussed legal conditions of Slovenia joining=
CEFTA, due at the beginning of 1996.

=09At a forum held at the fair for visitors, the Hungarian minister=
underlined the significance of the Association. In 1994 Hungary's tra=
de with=20
other CEFTA countries increased by 30 per cent (with the Czech Republ=
by 26 per cent, Poland - 30 per cent, Slovakia and Slovenia - 37 per =
i.e. twice faster than with non-CEFTA countries.

=09At the plenary session the Hungarian minister outlined the austeri=
measures decided by the Hungarian government on March 12, emphasizing=
that these would be necessary only temporarily. He reiterated that th=
liberalization of trade within CEFTA countries will be in Budapest's =
also in the future.

EBRD - Hungary on Its Economic Policy

=09London, April 9 (MTI) - Hungarian Finance Minister Lajos Bokros=
outlined the most important measures that have to be implemented in=
Hungary's economy at a meeting held at the London centre of the Europ=
Bank for Reconstruction and Development on Sunday, with the aim that=
Eastern European target countries introduce their economic plans to t=

=09The "premature" welfare state that has been formed of Hungary over=
the past 25 years cannot be maintained any more, Bokros said before t=
international audience .

=09The austerity measures approved on March 12 in a bid to stimulate=
economic growth and stability, mark not only a change of direction in=
economic policy, but also a psychological break-through because now t=
available resources can be really given to those truly in need, Bokro=
s said.

=09Before the Hungarian presentation, senior officials of the bank br=
on the EBRD's current activity in Eastern Europe. According to Peter=
Reiniger, director of the EBRD's Hungarian section, in 1994 the bank'=
investment into Hungary dropped considerably, primarily due to the=
stagnation of privatization over the past 16 months. The bank is awai=
ting the=20
continuation of the process, especially the privatization of the ener=
gy sector.
In this sector, the EBRD is willing to invest several hundred million=
Reiniger said.

=09The general meeting of the EBRD will begin on Monday. As part of=
the opening ceremony, British Prime Minister John Major will deliver =
speech and EBRD President Jacques de Larosiere will outline the balan=
of the past year.

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

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