Hollosi Information eXchange /HIX/
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Megrendelés Lemondás
1 OMRI Daily Digest - 21 February 1995 (mind)  56 sor     (cikkei)
2 Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (febr.21) (mind)  244 sor     (cikkei)
3 CET - 22 February 1995 (mind)  243 sor     (cikkei)
4 Washington Post - NATO (mind)  109 sor     (cikkei)

+ - OMRI Daily Digest - 21 February 1995 (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

No. 37, 21 February 1995

Gyula Horn and Alliance of Free Democrats chairman Ivan Peto on 20
February announced the nomination of Tamas Suchman as minister without
portfolio in charge of privatization, MTI reports. Peto stressed that
his party accepted Horn's decision but did not agree with Suchman's
nomination, arguing that an expert and not a party politician should
fill the post. Suchman is a member of the Hungarian Socialist Party
parliament faction and is said to belong to circles close to Horn.
According to Nepszabadsag of 8 February, Suchman has called for a
greater role for the state in the economy and advocated closer
supervision of the privatization agencies in order to combat corruption.
-- Edith Oltay, OMRI, Inc.

TRANSYLVANIAN TENSION. Cluj county prefect Grigore Zanc harshly
criticized the 18 February inaugural meeting of the Hungarian Democratic
Federation of Romania's National Council for Self-Administration,
composed of locally elected HDFR representatives. Radio Bucharest on 20
February quoted him as saying the meeting was held without his knowledge
and approval, which, he said, is proof of its "clandestine, tendentious,
and anti-constitutional" character. Also on 20 February, Zanc released a
communique--signed jointly with extreme-nationalist Mayor of Cluj
Gheorghe Funar and the chairman of the Cluj county council--saying the
council contravened both the constitution and the Law on National
Security. They called on the Prosecutor-General's office to take legal
measures against the council and ordered the Cluj county local
authorities to ban its activities. Funar said in an interview with the
Austrian daily Standard on 18 February that an armed conflict between
Romanians and ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania cannot be ruled out. He
also claimed that more than half a million of the 1.7 million Magyars in
Romania were Gypsies, whom the HDFR has allegedly "blackmailed or
bought" to register as ethnic Hungarians. In reality, he said "there are
no more than 300,000 Romanians of Hungarian origin in Romania." --
Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

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

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

+ - Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Newsletter (febr.21) (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. 38/1995                                                     21 February 199

NBH Vice-President Holds Talks in Tokyo

        Tokyo, February 20 (MTI) - Frigyes Harshegyi, Vice-President of the
National Bank of Hungary (NBH), began talks in Tokyo today with officials
from the Japanese Finance Ministry, the Export-Import Bank and the 11
largest commercial banks.

        Harshegyi on Monday told MTI the aim of his two-day visit is to
inform the Japanese about the recent economic and financial developments
in Hungary, particularly the country's external and internal balances and
financing requirements for this year.

        At the Export-Import Bank, the NBH vice-president will also discuss
the second stage of a two-tier loan designed to help Hungarian small and
medium-sized enterprises.

        The first part of the loan, agreed two years ago, which amounted to
JPY 13 billion, has financed the formation of thousands of small
businesses in the country.

        As arrangements for the second stage, involving a 12-year loan
worth JPY 13 billion, are also nearing completion, the relevant agreement
could be signed as early as next month, Harshegyi said.

        The NBH vice-president said he would visit the 11 leading Japanese
commercial banks to obtain information about the market for Samurai
bonds and the prospects for loans in 1995. In January the NBH issued JPY
25 billion worth of Samurai bonds, with a term of 10 years. According to
Nomura securities trading company, the bonds found a ready market,
mainly among institutional investors, Harshegyi said.

Hungarian PM to Visit Prague

        Budapest, February 20 (MTI) - Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn
will pay a one-day visit to Prague on February 27, at the invitation of Czech
Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus, the Government Spokesman's and Press
Office of the Prime Minister's Office told MTI.

        Horn will travel with top officials from the trade and agriculture
ministries, economic experts and business leaders.

        Horn is scheduled to meet Klaus before the plenary meeting between
the negotiating delegations, and he will also be received by President
Vaclav Havel.

Israeli-Hungarian Relations Good-Ambassador

        Cairo, February 20 (MTI) - "Relations between Hungary and Israel are
developing very well, with special importance being paid to the
improvement of business links. The aim is to persuade even more Israelis
to invest in Hungary and participate in the privatisations," Istvan Csejtei,
Hungary's new ambassador to Israel, who will present his credentials on
Tuesday, told MTI's Cairo correspondent, when he telephoned from Tel
Aviv on Monday.

        Csejtei said that over the last five years Hungary had benefited from
Israeli capital investment worth USD 160 million. There are no delicate
issues in bilateral political relations, which are conducted within
institutional frameworks.

        In the next six months, the Hungarian ministers of agriculture, justice

and foreign affairs will travel to Israel, and the Israeli ministers of health,
education, tourism and trade will visit Hungary.

        Great things are expected from the free-trade agreement the Israeli
and Hungarian ministers of industry and trade are due to sign in Budapest,
in May or June. Once the agreement takes effect - some time at the
beginning of next year - customs tariffs will be scrapped, except in a few
areas considered by both sides to be sensitive.

Speaker of Parliament to Thailand and Australia

        Budapest, February 20 (MTI) - A Hungarian parliamentary delegation
headed by Speaker Zoltan Gal today left for a five-day official visit to
Thailand at the invitation of Marut Bunnak, President and Speaker of the
Thai House of Representatives.

        The delegation includes Eva Sarkadi Lukovics of the Alliance of Free
Democrats and Jozsef Torgyan, Chairman of the Independent Smallholders'

        The delegation will talk to the Speakers of the National Assembly and
the Senate, and the prime minister and members of his government, meet
leading businessmen, and see an investment fair demonstrating the
industrial development of Thailand.

        Gal is scheduled to meet King Bhumibol Abdulyadej.

        Leaving Thailand, the delegation is to pay an official visit to Austral
at the invitation of Stephen Martin, Speaker of the Australian House of

        Delegates will talk to the speakers of the Senate and the House of
Representatives, the united committee of foreign affairs, defence and trade,
the foreign minister and the minister of trade.

        The MPs are to meet members of the Australian-Hungarian Chamber
of Commerce and Industry, the Australian-Hungarian parliamentary group,
and representatives of the local Hungarian community.

        The group will include several Hungarian business people.

Hungarian-Romanian Talks on Basic Treaty

        Bucharest, February 20 (MTI) - An eight-member delegation of the
Hungarian Foreign Ministry arrived in Bucharest on Monday afternoon to
resume talks with Romanian Foreign Ministry officials on the two countries"
basic treaty.

        The delegation is headed by Ferenc Szocs, head of the relevant
regional department, and Gyorgy Szenasi, head of the department of
international law.

Horn Meets Foreign Journalists

        Budapest, February 20 (MTI) - "Economic growth that started in the
second half of 1993 should by no means be suppressed; on the contrary, it
should be promoted," Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn told foreign
journalists at the Hungarian International Press Association in Budapest on
Monday evening.

        "Hungary's political situation is stable and the government expects
to work undisturbed until the 1998 elections," he said.

        Horn said the Hungarian Socialist Party (HSP) was committed to
staying in coalition with the Alliance of Free Democrats (AFD).

        "In planning economic policy, however, Hungary has very little room
for manoeuvre," Horn said. "This is in part an inheritance from the previous
government and even from the one or two years before."

        The prime minister stressed the need for cutting the budget deficit
and the balance of payments deficit.

        Asked about the grounds for his recent statement that Hungary may
join NATO next year, Horn said officials in Brussels had told him that NATO
would compile an assessment on the admission of new members by late
May. The document will then be discussed by the member states and put
forward to the NATO foreign ministers" meeting in December. The meeting,
Horn said, may make decisions on the date and terms of new admissions.

        "The allegation that the modernization of the Hungarian Army has
not started does not tally with the facts. Hungary may fulfill some
conditions for joining NATO in a year or two," Horn said.

        Asked about hopes that Hungary might get HUF 150 billion of
revenue from privatization this year, Horn said that Hungary continued to
attract foreign capital. "Some major firms, like General Motors and General
Electric, have indicated their interest in further investment here," he said.

        After the collapse of Mexican financial markets, the Hungarian
government had plenty of warnings: the balance of payments deficit should
be reduced from a planned USD 4 billion to USD 2.5 billion. To do this,
Parliament would approve several bills, for instance the privatization bill
and the customs bill. "Neither of them are restrictive: they promote
economic liberalization," he said.

        Reporters recalled that outgoing finance minister Laszlo Bekesi
repeatedly complained of getting insufficient support for his programme
from his own party, the HSP. Horn said, "there does not exist any Bekesi
programme. There exists a HSP programme which went into the coalition
agreement and the government programme."
        He recalled that, despite his repeated personal urgings, the
privatization bill had been put forward to Parliament in November, two
months later than scheduled.

Socialist to be Named for Privatization Minister

        Budapest, February 20 (MTI) - Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn
will nominate Tamas Suchman, a Socialist MP, for the post of privatization

        In the Monday session of the Coalition Coordination Council (CCC),
the Alliance of Free Democrats (AFD) said it still opposed the proposal but
had reconciled itself to it.

        The Hungarian Socialist Party (HSP) and its junior coalition partner,
the AFD, also agreed that the parliamentary state secretary of culture and
education would be named by the Free Democrats.

        Former state secretary Gyorgy Janossy (HSP) resigned last October
after the ministry had misinformed the prime minister of funds available for
increasing teachers" wages (the Free Democrat minister, Gabor Fodor, was
abroad at the time). Later, Janossy said he had disagreed with Fodor over

        Meeting reporters after the CCC session, Horn expressed the hope
that the agreement had put an end to the debates which had strained
relations between the two coalition parties.

        In his view, the government should now concentrate its efforts on
the economy, the programme of financial stabilization vital for the country's
operation, and the passage of some crucial laws, for instance on the media
and privatization.

        Ivan Peto, AFD chairman and parliamentary leader, said that, with the
presently poor image of privatization, it would have been better to choose
someone without party loyalties for the post.

        "However, this is not an affair which should make anyone think that
the coalition might collapse," he added. Peto did not rule out the AFD
naming a HSP official or someone close to the Socialists as parliamentary
state secretary of culture and education.

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 - 22 February 1995 (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Wednesday, 22 February 1995
Volume 2, Issue 38


  Hungary's Budapest Bank will be sold by June.  That's according
  to bank President Lajos Bokros, who's been nominated as the
  country's next finance minister.  Credit Suisse, Allied Irish
  Bank and the Dutch ING Bank have each submitted bids of about
  100 million dollars for 60 percent of Budapest Bank, which is
  Hungary's fourth largest.

  Making Budapest Bank more valuable is its purchase of the
  Budapest Stock Exchange headquarters.  The bank announced the
  deal yesterday, after it was approved by shareholders.  The
  bank will sell more than $24 million in shares to pay for the
  building.  The transaction will raise the bank's registered
  capital, or total value, to $175 million.  The old downtown
  building was claimed by both Budapest Bank and the State
  Development Institute -- and the purchase is expected to end
  years of legal battles.


  by David Fondler, in cooperation with Business Central Europe

  With the appointment this week of a new privatization minister,
  Hungary is just coming out of a two-month-long political
  shake-up.  Now the real work begins: restoring foreign
  investor confidence.  But, that will take more than new faces
  and policies, it requires commitment:

  The scrapping of the multi-million dollar privatization of the
  state-owned HungarHotels chain at the beginning of the year
  was not just another botched business deal.  In the aftermath,
  Hungary lost its privatization commissioner, its highly
  respected finance minster and some of the foreign investor
  confidence it's built up over the years.

  Hungary's Socialist Prime Minister Gyula Horn personally put the
  brakes on the privatization of the HungarHotel chain.
  Fifty-one percent of the chain was to be sold to Dallas-based
  American General Hospitality for $57.5 million.  This kind of
  personal intervention by the prime minister sent warning signs
  to investors interested in Hungary's future privatization
  plans.  But, according the Business Central Europe Editor Bela
  Papp, the country's problems don't stop at the prime
  minister's door:

  "Behind all of that event lies a whole sequence of
  misunderstandings within the government; of different factions
  within the government, a power base in the ministry of
  industry and trade, a power base in the privatization agency
  and a power base in the prime minister's office, and all these
  people are disagreeing with each other on how to sell off
  state assets."

  And, according to Papp, it's this competition and confusion
  among government agencies that has created Hungary's
  privatization muddle.

  Prime Minister Horn says he doesn't want to stand in the way of
  foreign investment in Hungarian privatization, but his
  government must strike a balance between selling off its
  assets fast, and selling them right.  As for HungarHotels,
  speaking earlier this week at a press conference, Horn said he
  doesn't see that as a problem.

  "I don't think that HungarHotels has shaken the trust for
  Hungary. It was not a valid contract that the Hungarian
  government canceled, there was not even undertaken a duty or a
  responsibility to conclude a contract."

  What happened was that Horn decided that $57.5 million wasn't
  enough for just over half of the 14-hotel chain.  So he raised
  the price after a bid had been verbally accepted, and
  effectively fired Privatization Commissioner Ferenc Bartha.
  He then called for the creation of a new post of privatization
  minister.  That led to the resignation of Finance Minister
  Laszlo Bekesi and talk that the government's coalition might

  But again Horn says his government must strike a balance, adding
  that if he takes decisive action, he's accused of "shooting
  from the hip," of being impulsive and erratic, but if he takes
  time to evaluate the major privatization deals, he's
  criticized for slowing the process down.

  "The people demand that we should be quicker and more
  determined.  We've got to put certain limits in arriving at a
  decision finally, but actually politicizing things out of
  emotions, or from the hip, maybe there have been instances for
  that, however, if there were cases for that, there was a good
  reason why."

  Horn says the reason he involves himself in things like
  privatization deals is because things didn't go the way he
  thinks they should.  This autocratic style has put off the
  foreign investment community, but it's also kept Horn's
  government popular with Hungarian voters. Popularity aside,
  the country is $4 billion in debt, and needs to sell-off of
  its state assets.  Outgoing Finance Minister Bekesi saw the
  need to get rid of state property that doesn't make money.
  Papp says this should be the over-riding philosophy behind
  Hungary's privatization program:

  "The priority should be to sell it off, sell it off, sell it
  off. I think the priority should be first and foremost to
  privatize, to get these companies out of the state sector, so
  the government can concentrate on governing, and not setting
  economic policies through its state-owned enterprises."

  And if a uniform, pro-active privatization policy is not

  "I don't think the foreign investors will go away, they just
  won't show much interest in the companies being privatized."

  And that could leave a lot of bulky, money-losing businesses in
  state hands for a long time. The coming weeks will probably
  see Parliament confirm Budapest Bank President Lajos Bokros as
  Hungary's new finance minister; Gyorgy Suranyi will likely be
  approved to head the National Bank, and Tomas Suchman will be
  put in charge of privatization. They'll be overseeing major
  bank and utility privatizations, as well as the selling off of
  countless smaller companies and assets.  Whether that process
  will go smoothly remains to be seen.


  By David Fink

  If you ask most Hungarians about their country's space program,
  they won't know what you're talking about.  Hungary doesn't
  launch satellites or build space stations.  But at two dozen
  laboratories across the country, Hungarian scientists are
  quietly carrying out cutting edge space research.  In 1980
  Colonel Bertalan Farkas went where no Hungarian has gone
  before: into the final frontier of space.  Farkas and a Soviet
  cosmonaut traveled to a space station to carry out medical and
  biological experiments.  Farkas became an instant national
  hero and his mission is still the high point of the 30 year
  old Hungarian space program.  But the country's budget crunch
  will keep other Hungarian astronauts out of space until the
  next century.  Hungary's 300 million forint space budget has
  stayed frozen for several years.  That's about $2.5 million
  today.  Farkas says it's too bad since Hungary's scientists
  have much to offer.

  "It's important for a small country to take part in space
  research projects. There is a high level of intelligence in
  Hungary which should be used.  It shouldn't be wasted, but put
  to use in space research."

  Space research is continuing.  While small countries like
  Hungary can't afford to launch their own rockets they can
  cooperate with the big powers: NASA, the European Space Agency
  and Russia.  In fact, 29 Hungarian research centers and labs
  are currently working on programs ranging from studies of
  motion sickness to designing the brain of a Russian robot that
  will land on Mars in 1996.  Hungary is also building equipment
  for use on a European mission to study the sun.  And in a NASA
  expedition to Saturn in 1997.  While this may not appear to
  benefit Hungarian society at first glance, scientists say
  space research has practical value and is well worth the
  government's money.  But with funding comes obligations says
  Karoly Szego, Director of Space Research at the KFKI Research
  Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics.

  "We get a certain amount of money but we have to pay back a
  certain percentage from the benefits, from the actual
  industrial benefits we are producing.  As we are really paying
  back money it shows that we can make some profit out of all
  these activities."

  For example, Szego says the Physics Institute made a profit by
  selling a diagnostic system to Malev Airlines.  Hungarian
  agriculture has also benefited from the country's space
  program.  Peter Winkler is the head of the FOMI Remote Sensing
  Center.  He says his facility can estimate crop production by
  examining satellite photos taken of Hungary.

  "These satellite images are taken in several bands of the
  electromagmnetic waves.  Different types of crops reflect in
  these bands in different ways."

  Winkler's center wants to use this same technique to provide
  farmers with regular reports on the health of crops.  Soon
  scientists may even be able to warn farmers of a coming
  drought.  Scientific advisor Elod Both of the Hungarian
  government's space office says such technological
  developments, no matter how small, are important for Hungary.

  "That's a very important element of the image of the nation.
  That we not only use the available technology, but we make
  some contribution ourselves."

  Both adds that if Hungary wants to continue making contributions
  in space research, it must maintain the size of its space
  budget.  Both says the budget freeze hasn't affected research
  yet.  But if more money can't be found, Hungary's space
  program could be grounded in the 21st Century.


* 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.

+ - Washington Post - NATO (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

U.S. to Permit High-Tech Weapon Sales to 10 Nations of Former East Bloc


     The Clinton administration has decided to permit sales of fighter jets,
tanks and other sophisticated offensive weapons to 10 countries of the former
East Bloc, opening up a market that was once Moscow's preserve and preparing
the nations for possible NATO membership, U.S. officials said yesterday.

     The decision reverses a post-Cold War policy of selling only basic,
defensive equipment to Poland, Hungary and the other former Soviet
satellites. It is part of an effort to affirm they are now friendly
     No specific agreements have been signed, and U.S. officials said
decisions will be made on a country-by-country basis, taking into
consideration the implication of any sale to U.S. security interests and
regional stability.
     Critics opposed to increased U.S. arms sales charged the new policy
would promote an arms race among countries that can ill afford to enter one.
Administration officials acknowledged the move might upset Russia, which
fears being ringed by hostile countries.
      "This could raise some eyebrows in Russia," a State Department official
said. But he said the policy was designed to overcome past East-West
tensions, saying, "We're trying to clean up our Cold War policies and
     Several countries have already expressed an interest in purchasing U.S.
-16 fighter jets, and acting Polish Defense Minister Jerzy Milewski is in
Washington "to get a detailed briefing on the F-16," Defense Secretary
William J. Perry said yesterday. The F-16 Fighting Falcon is the world's most
widely used attack aircraft, and can be fitted with advanced missiles for air
to-air or air-to-ground combat.
     Most of the 10 countries on the list would be unable to afford to buy F
16s. But the policy change removes the official barrier to such purchases,
including for less expensive weapons, and other countries have used U.S.
military assistance to offset the cost of planes.
     The countries included in the decision are Hungary, Poland, the Czech
Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria and
     "This is going to set off a keeping-up-with-the Joneses arms race," said
Lora Lumpe of the Federation of American Scientists, which supports
     Several administration officials linked the new policy to plans
eventually to expand NATO, the western military alliance, in which each
member is pledged to come to the defense of any other member. Secretary of
State Warren Christopher and other officials have said members seeking the
alliance's security guarantee must be able to contribute to the alliance.
Arms sales to them will help.
     "When it comes down to it, when NATO starts expanding, new members will
need compatible equipment. This is one of these doors that will help
candidates meet those requirements," a State Department official said.
     Moscow has opposed NATO expansion and reacted negatively to signs it
might become a reality. However, one senior official said he expected the
reaction from Moscow to be muted. "We take into account the implications for
regional stability," he said. "This is related to our bilateral relations
with these countries. We're not directing anything at Russia."
     It opens the area to competition, he added. "The Russians can sell
planes to the Poles if they want," the official said.
        The decision seems to pit two goals of U.S. policy toward the former
East Bloc against each other: the desire to move slowly in expanding security
ties eastward, so as not to irritate Moscow; and a desire to help the
American arms industry to sell to as wide a range of customers as possible.
  The Clinton administration, the Pentagon and U.S. defense contractors have
been promoting an aggressive international arms sales program.
     A separatenew administration arms export policy, formally announced
yesterday, explicitly states that U.S. embassy personnel will help private
firms market and bid on defense contracts. The U.S. embassies will be
"actively involving senior [U.S.] government officials in promoting sales of
particular importance to the United States, and supporting official
Department of Defense participation in international air and trade exhibits,"
the new policy states.
     Eric Newsom, a deputy assistant secretary of state, yesterday said,
"Once a decision [to sell arms to a country] has been made on national
security grounds . . . then it is important that U.S. defense firms receive
the support of the United States government in making that sale.
     "A fundamental point here is that we see support for a strong
sustainable U.S. defense industrial base as a key national security concern .
. . rather than as a purely commercial matter," he said.
     "Our goal here is simply to level the playing field for American
  The Defense Department, for its part, has requested authority from Congress
to sell off 350 older F-16s overseas -- at discounted prices -- and to use
the money to purchase newer, more expensive versions of the aircraft.
     Air Force officials, particularly Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force
Robert Bauerlein, have been promoting the idea with members of Congress.
     Congressional approval is necessary because it would mean circumventing
the normal congressional appropriations process to be able to use proceeds of
the sale to buy the new planes directly.
     Besides the U.S. Air Force and Navy, 16 countries have acquired or have
ordered F-16s, which are made by the Lockheed Corp. In all, 3,469 F-16s are
in use and another 3,956 are on order, according to company officials.

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

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

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