Waiting time 7 hours for trucks at Ukrainian border

Budapest, March 12 (MTI) – Trucks heading to Ukraine are forced to wait up to seven hours at the Zahony crossing, the National Tax and Customs Authority said on Saturday.

The delay is caused by heavy traffic and thorough vehicle checks by the Ukrainian authorities, it said on its website.

Cars seeking to cross to Hungary from Ukraine need to wait three hours, the authority reported.

Hungary sends rescue team to Japan

Budapest, March 11 (MTI) – At Japan’s official request, Hungary will send a team to aid search and rescue operations in the earthquake-stricken country, the head of the National Disaster Management Directorate told MTI on Friday.

The team of eight technicians and a rescue expert is making preparations to leave later in the day, said Tibor Dobson.

Japan has also requested help from the EU civil defence agency, he added.

The earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale hit Japan early on Friday.

EU Presidency – Foreign ministers assess N Africa developments

Budapest, March 11 (MTI) – EU foreign ministers agreed in Godollo on Friday that all possibilities for protecting ordinary people in and around Libya should be examined, but if any military action is deemed necessary then the involvement of the UN Security Council and the Arab League should be made a precondition, Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi told a news conference.

“Member states are examining every possibility on condition that the necessity of a clear legal basis and support from the region is made unambiguous,” Martonyi said, stressing the need for continual cooperation with the Arab League.

Ministers debated how to aid the building of democracy. They agreed on the importance of keeping in mind the positive developments in the region, such as advances made in Morocco, Martonyi said.

He noted that the Moroccan King Mohammad VI had announced welcome constitutional reforms, including the expansion of personal and collective rights and the strengthening of political parties and local authorities.

Ministers are due to continue their discussions on Saturday, when they will be joined by delegations representing EU candidate countries, the minister said.

Deviating from the original schedule, minister are expected to carry on discussing developments in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, he added.

Foreign ministry sacks 7 suspected former secret agents

Budapest, March 11 (MTI) – Hungary’s foreign ministry has sacked seven of its staff who have been identified as having served the state police as secret agents under the communist era, state secretary at the ministry told MTI on Friday.

Zsolt Nemeth said the ministry ran an investigation after a list of names of suspected secret agents appeared on a website a week ago. He said the ministry only probed members of its current staff in connection with the allegations.

The scandal broke out just over a week ago when a website, szigoruantitkos.hu — meaning “top secret” — published over 600 names of officers who had been registered with the Interior Ministry’s Personnel Unit as secret agents in the communist regime. The website published the result of research by the institute and museum Emlekpont into the Interior Ministry’s files from the pre-1990 period.