EU Presidency – Members back review of EU trade preferences, says Martonyi

Brussels, May 13 (MTI) – EU member states support the main components of the European Commission’s proposal for a comprehensive review of trade preferences granted to non-EU countries, Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi told a press conference in Brussels on Friday.

The system has proved to be viable over the past four decades, but it should be overhauled to ensure preferences are given to the countries that really need them, the minister said.

The EC proposal announced earlier this week calls for reducing the number of beneficiaries from 176 to about 80.

Concerning the Doha Development Round, Martonyi said the EU hoped that its negotiating partners’ stance on trade would be as constructive as its own.


Malev plane landed safely in Budapest

Malev – Hungarian Airlines flight to Bucharest experienced difficulties with their oxygen pressure and therefore landed at 8:24 at Budapest Airport, writes

The Malev plane was heading to Bucharest, but had to make a turn back to Budapest Airport when it’s crew saw indications of a loss of cabin pressure.

Mihály Hardy said that “The crew on Malevs flight bound for Bucharest experienced a drop in cabin pressure.  In situations such as this they don’t have the possibility to evaluate any other options than to follow the rules and land at the closest airport. The airport landed without any trouble at 8:24 at Liszt Ferenc Airport.  On this small aircraft there were thirty passengers.  At this time it’s not known weather it was an error in the instruments indicating the cabin pressure, or if something else was the reason for the problem.  This can be verified after technical inspections”

Korda Studios fully booked till year-end

Budapest, May 9, 2011 (MTI-ECONEWS) – Hungary’s Korda Studios on Monday said its capacity is fully booked until the end of 2011.

All facilities have been reserved for the remainder of 2011 since March, “exceeding prior expectations”, the studios said. Sales of spaces for 2012 were begun in April, it added.

Two big television productions are in pre-production at the studios: Showtime’s The Borgias, which has returned for production of its second season, and the USD 43m miniseries World Without End, based on the novel by Ken Follett.

Korda Studios will open a HUF 1.19bn tourist attraction in June. The Korda Filmpark will feature a museum dedicated to the work of the Korda brothers, an interactive filmmaking exhibit and a restaurant. The attraction is expected to draw 50,000 visitors in its first year.

Korda Studios was awarded a HUF 595m grant from the New Hungary Development Plan for the Korda Filmpark.

Korda Studios is in its fifth year of operation.

(HUF 100 = EUR 0.3789)


Fidesz to boost ties with China, says official

Beijing, May 9 (MTI) – A senior official of the governing Fidesz party held talks on Hungarian-Chinese relations and inter-party ties in Beijing on Monday.

Lajos Kosa, the party’s deputy leader, held what he called fruitful talks with Chen Fengxian, deputy head of the Chinese Communist Party’s foreign affairs office, on developing inter-party ties and preparations for a visit by Fidesz leader Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister.

Kosa confirmed Hungary’s commitment to developing economic, trade and scientific cooperation and becoming the eastern gate for China to Europe.

He said Hungarian universities and colleges would be glad to receive more students from China.

Kosa visited the academy of traditional Chinese medicine in Beijing, and held talks with businesspeople on Chinese investment in rural tourism, airport development and vehicle production.

On Tuesday Kosa is scheduled to leave for Chongqing, and then to visit Shanghai.


Christian Democrats propose work-free Good Friday

Budapest, May 9 (MTI) – Good Friday should be made a public holiday from 2012 on, according to an MP of Hungary’s co-governing Christian Democratic (KDNP) party.

Laszlo Varga has submitted the proposal to parliament, arguing that Good Friday is a special day of Christian culture, which forms part and parcel of the European identity.

It is a holiday in several European countries, including Germany, Austria, Italy and Portugal, he said.

Last week, KDNP’s Jozsef Michl proposed making August 15, feast day of the Assumption of Mary, a public holiday.


New rules forbid uniformed criminality

As of Saturday a new regulation came into force, forbidding uniformed civilians to keep public order.
may be punished with a three year prison sentence for those who spread panic amoung any of the nations’ races, ethnic or religious groups. Two year prison sentence may be given to those that give the impression of maintaing public order without having a legal authorization for doing so. The government decided to rigor the rules after several weeks of civlians marching around in small settlements in uniform, Hungarian MTV1 News reports.

According to the government a new type of criminality has appeared: uniformed cirminality.
Talking about these uniformed civilians Péter Szijjártó, spokesman of the Prime Minister said that «These people are simply criminals, these people are simply disturbing order»

Prime Minister Viktor Orban told the TV2 news last week in an interview that the time has come for the state to speak in the language of power.
«Everyone that so far has showed a criminal attitude will now stop, and everybody will go home, because within the hour representatives of the Hungarian state will be there and will enforce the law. So far we have had the patience and the discernement, this is over from now on»

On Monday the national assembly voted with 280 in favour, and 40 against the amendment of the criminal code. MSZP and LMP supported FIDESZ in the vote, while JOBBIK rejected the proposal.

A lawyer expresses his concern about the new amendment, as it only points out that it is forbidden to have a goal to keep public order, he is afraid that the uniformed civilians will go around the rules and for example say that they are holding enlightment camps for young people. MTV1 reported.

There was no mention of discrimination against LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) people.

Headlines Saturday

Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán thinks Hungary will meet the criteria for joining the Eurozone within 2020.
In a lecture for investors and businessmen in Frankfurt about Hungary’s economic and financial policy, Viktor Orban came with this statement.

The EU commisioner for Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes welcomed Hungary’s quick amendment to the media law speaking at a media conference in Brussels on Friday.

Cold wave hits Hungary with record low temperatures.  In a northern-Hungarian village, Zabar, the temperatures went down to a record -4,2 Celsius degrees on Friday.  This is a record low for this day of the year.

Telenor is introducing its first Android applications

From 4 May 2011 the first smartphone applications developed by Telenor are available on the Android Market. The S.O.S. Help application which enables one to request immediate help has been implemented as a result of “Androideák” idea contest, while the app allowing users to purchase motorway e-vignettes has been developed within the portfolio of MobileShopping.

However the number of Hungarian applications is growing on the Android Market, there are still only few of them. As a part of its complex information campaign, Telenor aims to make the benefits of Android available in Hungarian for the most users possible. These two new, useful applications support this.

S.O.S. Help, which was one of the winner ideas of the “Androideák” contest launched at Telenor’s first Android workshop at the end of last year, enables users to signal family, friends and acquaintances in time of trouble, or in need of help. By activating it, the application sends the Android smartphone user’s exact position to previously choosen and saved mobile numbers and e-mail addresses. Moreover, the application forwards a short, pre-set message, while warning people nearby with a beeping sound.

Buying motorway e-vignettes with a mobile is available in Hungary since 2006. In the past 5 years the number of mobileShopping users doubled: up till now, approximately 220 thousand people used the service, making more than 2.2 million purchases. In average, clients pay for their motorway usage with their mobiles 5 times annually. Since the beginning, the most popular e-vignette type is the 4-day for an automobile (D1), however there are other vignettes available for motorcycles, buses and trucks.

The new Motorway Vignette application for Android makes the virtual purchase easier, it helps track the validity of earlier vignettes as well as the details of previous purchases. With the application, all types of motorway vignettes are available that are included in the SMS-based MobileShopping service.

Development of the other two winning ideas is underway: the Hungarian Apps and the Bicycle route map will soon be available for Android users.

The S.O.S. Help and the Motorway Vignette applications can be downloaded free of charge[1] from the Android Market and from Telenor Hungary’s website.


[1] Downloading the applications from Android Market, or using them generates data traffic, which may be subject to fees.

Source: Telenor Hungary Press Release

EU Presidency – European Forum of Architectural Policies opens in Budapest

The architectural polices of Hungary and of the European Union, the EU’s Danube Strategy, the relationship between city and natural waters, as well as innovation and sustainability are the main themes of the two-day European Forum of Architectural Policies (EFAP) that opened in Budapest on Thursday.

The forum, organised on the sidelines of Hungary’s EU presidency, is attended by 90 guests from 20 foreign countries and by 150 Hungarian experts, Tamas Noll, head of the Hungarian Chamber of Architects, told MTI.

EFAP President Rob Docter told MTI that architecture is not a panacea for social or environmental problems, but it can be used to create a more liveable environment. The primary goal of EFAP is to promote cooperation between markets and governments to ensure more effective solutions to environmental problems, he said.

Hungary’s MEP Tamas Deutsch said that adopting the Danube Strategy was a success story to which all institutions of the EU had contributed, including the Hungarian presidency. He said that efficient coordination of European funds was key in implementing creative and innovative ideas under that strategy.

EFAP was set up in Paris in 2000. The forum meets semi-annually in the country serving as the rotating president of the EU


Pécs launches uplifting campaign for students

The local government of Pécs launched a billboard campaign to motivate the students who are now having their exams.
The face of the campaign is an 18 year old deaf girl.
40 000 students study currently at Pécs, and the local government would like to see more of them stay there after having finished their studies. It’s harder to keep the students in the town after having left university than to convince the high school students to apply for university there.
Many of the students leave Pécs in favour of Budapest as well as places beyond national borders, says Peter Csizi, deputy major.