RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 237, 10 December 1998
HUNGARIAN RULING PARTY INTRODUCES TAX POLICE BILL.
Finance Ministry State Secretary Mihaly Varga on 9
December presented to the parliament a bill on setting
up a tax investigative body, which was proposed by the
major coalition Federation of Young Democrats-Hungarian
Civic Party. Varga argued that the regular police force
does not have the necessary means and skills to deal
with tax-related crimes. He said the cabinet will set
aside 2.8 billion forint ($13 million) to establish a
240-strong force, which will be armed and authorized to
"apply secret service methods." Opposition parties fear
that the tax police could be used arbitrarily and will
contravene citizens' constitutional rights. Moreover,
the cabinet and opposition disagree whether the bill's
passage requires a two-thirds majority in the
ALBRIGHT SOUNDS WARNING NOTE TO HUNGARY. U.S. Secretary
of State Madeleine Albright told Hungarian Foreign
Minister Janos Martonyi in Brussels on 9 December that
Washington will consider it "an unfavorable sign" if
Hungary does not pass a constitutional amendment to
facilitate the movement of NATO troops across its
territory. Martonyi admitted that the present situation,
in which the parliament must decide on the movement of
foreign troops across Hungarian territory, is an
"impossible state of affairs." Opposition parties in
Hungary have refused to guarantee the two-thirds
majority required to pass the amendment, which would
authorize the government to decide on the movement of
NATO troops (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 December 1998).
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