RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
RFE/RL NEWSLINE 8 December 1999
HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER CARRIES OUT FIRST CABINET CHANGES.
Viktor Orban on 7 December confirmed that Gyorgy Matolcsy and
Zoltan Rockenbauer will be the new economics and culture
ministers, respectively (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 December
1999). He told reporters that he was satisfied with the work
of the outgoing ministers but added that "other types of
people will be needed to implement more practical programs."
According to "Magyar Hirlap," several ministers complained at
the cabinet meeting that the reshuffle does not affect
ministries led by members of the junior coalition partner
Independent Smallholders' Party. Opposition leaders said
Orban should have dismissed several ministers who have lost
their credibility. MSZ
FIDESZ TO SEPARATE POSTS OF PRIME MINISTER AND PARTY
CHAIRMAN. The steering board of the major coalition partner,
the Federation of Young Democrats-Hungarian Civic Party, on 7
December proposed the separation of the functions of party
chairman and prime minister, saying that occupying both posts
"has proven to be a great load for Viktor Orban." The
statement said "someone else is needed who will spend all his
energy on organizing the party and preparing for the 2002
elections." Orban has accepted the board's proposal, but the
issue has to be dealt with by the party's parliamentary group
and the national board. MSZ
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