Eight economists call on govt to join Euro Plus Pact

Budapest, March 25 (MTI) – Eight senior economists called on the Hungarian government to join the euro zone competitiveness pact, dubbed as Euro Plus Pact, in a statement published on Friday.

“As responsible Hungarian economists, we call on Viktor Orban’s government to revise its position and approve the majority position in the EU summit,” the petitioners, including former Socialist finance minister Laszlo Bekesi and liberal economy minister Istvan Csillag, said.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced earlier this week that Hungary would not be going to join the euro zone competitiveness pact for the moment because the country wanted to retain its independence on tax matters.

The economists argued that the pact envisages uniform rules merely for calculating the tax base but does not rule out competition between the degrees of tax rates, and does not prevent Hungary from attracting foreign investment with lower tax rates. By adopting the pact, Hungary “would not give up its independence in tax matters”, they said.

“After a lost decade, we should not voluntarily get off the train of progress that would take us to the Hungarian euro”, the petitioners said.

The pact forms part of the package designed to increase financial stability in the euro zone, make the EU more competitive and step up economic coordination. It was approved last night by 17 euro zone member states and six non-euro zone countries. Four EU members – Hungary, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Denmark – decided not the sign it.

source: mti.hu

AI calls for protection of Roma ahead of murder trial

Budapest, March 25 (MTI) – The forthcoming trial of the suspects of the multiple Roma murders should carry a clear message to the public that the Roma communities should be protected against all racially motivated violent assaults and harassment, Amnesty International told MTI in a statement on Friday.

The trial of the four defendants accused of having killed six Roma people, including a five-year-old child, and seriously wounding five others, in Hungarian villages between July 2008 and August 2009 started at the Pest County Court on Friday amidst keen media interest and tight security in Budapest.

The series of attacks traumatised the Roma communities and kept them in permanent fear, AI said.

The human rights organisations expressed criticism that Hungarian authorities still lack appropriate instruments for investigating racially motivated crime.

Referring to recent incidents at the village of Gyongyospata in northern Hungary, AI expressed concern that police failed to make every possible step to prevent the harassment of the local Roma population.

A civil group calling itself the Civil Guard Association for a Better Future has been patrolling the village since early March citing an increase in crime among the local Roma.

On March 6 the radical nationalist Jobbik party staged a demonstration in the village in support of the action.

No vote on business plan at Malev EGM; strategic decisions expected soon

Budapest, March 25, 2011 (MTI-ECONEWS) – Shareholders of Hungarian national carrier Malev did not vote on a reworked business plan for the airline at an extraordinary general meeting on Friday because of strategic decision expected to be taken in the near future, the National Asset Management Company (MNV) said in a statement sent to MTI.

MNV said the outcome of “the talks with potential investors could substantially influence the company’s operations in 2011 and its new vision…”.

Shareholders did take decisions on changes to the board of directors and the supervisory board.

Malev shareholders asked the management to draw up a reworked business plan for 2011 because of the uncertain macroeconomic outlook and market conditions at an EGM on March 11.

Troubled Malev was renationalised in March 2010, but Russia’s state-owned Vnesheconombank still holds 5pc of the airline’s parent company.

soruce: mti.hu