Hungarians seeking HUN citizenship in Ukraine harrased by state

The treatment of the Hungarians in Ukraine is unacceptable The news has reached the Hungarian ministry of foreign affairs that ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine who are applying for their Hungarian citizenship are beeing harrased by the Ukrainian state security service. The KMK in Hungary says that the Hungarians are contacted by phone and by letter and they are asked to give their written statement about weather it is true or not that they have applied for their Hungarian citizenship. The organization therefore wrote two days ago an open letter where they called for the infringement of rights to be stopped. The Hungarian Ministry of Foreign affairs is orienting itself in this case, said János Martonyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs to the tv show “Az Este” at Hungarian MTV1.

Semjen Zsolt calls it unacceptable that the Ukrainian state security service is harrasing the Hungarian population of Zakkarpatia Oblas/Transcarpathia. The Vice-Minister responsible for the national security policies is awaiting the response of the Ukrainians to his letter.

Hungary February trade surplus revised up to EUR 831m

Budapest, May 4, 2011 (MTI-ECONEWS) – Hungary had a trade surplus of EUR 831m in February, up from EUR 400.8m in January, and also up from EUR 394.2m a year ago, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Wednesday, revising the surplus up from EUR 816.4m in the first reading released on April 8.

The trade surplus was a balance of EUR 6.076bn of exports and EUR 5.836bn of imports, up 27.2pc and 20.4pc, respectively from a year ago. Exports and export growth were raised more than imports from the first reading.

Euro-term export growth picked up from 16.1pc in January and import growth slowed from January’s sharp 30.2pc, boosted by a low base.

In volume terms, February exports rose 21.1pc yr/yr, a touch slower than in January, and imports rose 14.6pc, significantly lower than the 22.9pc twelve-month increase registered in January.

January-February exports reached EUR 12.743bn, rising 26.6pc in euro terms and 21.1pc in volume terms. Imports in the first two months, at EUR 11.512bn, were 25pc higher in euro terms and rose 18.6pc in volume terms from a year earlier.

The January-February trade surplus widened EUR 376m from a year earlier, to EUR 1.232bn.

The trade surplus for 2010 was EUR 5.525bn, up from EUR 3.74bn in 2009.

Hungary’s terms of trade deteriorated 0.8pc in the first two months as forint-term export prices rose 5.8pc and import prices rose 6.7pc. The forint weakend 1.7pc against the main currencies of trade in the period.


EU provides funding for Croatia-Hungary border mine clearance

Budapest, May 4 (MTI) – Efforts to clear landmines from hundreds of square miles in Croatia have been under way for several years, and another 800 square kms are set to be cleared by 2019 with the help of EU funds.

The Hungarian-Croatian border has mines, planted at the beginning of the 1990s, running along 80 kms on the Croatian side, and it is likely that some were also placed on the Hungarian side of the border, too, Lieutenant-Colonel, Gyorgy Bozsing, a border official with Baranya County police headquarters, told MTI on Wednesday.

Large tracts of land on the border are mine-infested, a legacy of the Yugoslav wars.

Bozsing said the project, ongoing for two years, involves drawing up a digital map of dangerous areas. In the past few days, the project won a competitive bid to receive 3 million euros in EU funding, he said.


Magyar Telekom to modernise mobile network with Ericsson

Budapest, May 4, 2011 (MTI-ECONEWS) – Magyar Telekom on Wednesday announced the start of a large scale modernisation of its mobile network with longstanding partner Ericsson.

As part of the network modernisation, Ericsson will replace the current 2G and 3G wireless base stations to unique, multi-standard RBS 6000 equipments developed for GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA Evolution and LTE technologies, Magyar Telekom said. Once the necessary frequencies are available, Magyar Telekom will also be ready in 2011 to offer LTE services to its customers through the new fourth generation LTE technology provided by Ericsson.

In the first stage of the modernisation, Magyar Telekom will set up 200 new HSPA+ stations in Budapest offering internet at super-fast speeds of 21 Mbps. HSPA+ will be available across the entire network by 2013.

The agreement will offer further cost saving potential, including a 50pc saving in energy costs, Magyar Telekom said.


Jozsef Palinka elected once again as the head of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Jozsef Palinka elected once again as the head of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, reports Hungarian MTV1 News.
He was elected for fresh three year term.  The leader said that amoung his plans are to cut spending of the academy and the institutions belonging to them, while at the same time expressing his wish for an increase in researchers in Hungary.  He said that “we must find and keep the country’s best researchers.”

Pope John Paul II to get statue in Budapest

Budapest, May 3 (MTI) – The late Pope John Paul II, who was beatified in Rome on Sunday, could get a statue in Budapest in a year or two, the communications director of the Mayor’s Office told MTI on Tuesday.

It is still to be decided where the statue will stand but Mayor Istvan Tarlos would prefer if a “worthy location” were found for it, Maria Szucs Somlyo said.

The Metropolitan Assembly decided last week that the spacious Koztarsasag (Republic) Square would be re-named after the Polish-born pontiff.


Hungary is fighting war of financial independence, says economy minister

Budapest, May 3, 2011 (MTI-ECONEWS) – Hungary is fighting an economic revolution for financial independence in which the first step was “throwing out” the IMF and the second was the Szell Kalman Plan which will restore the dignity of the country, National Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy said at a meeting of the Szechenyi Klub on Tuesday.

Hungary has fought its most difficult and most risky campaign, and few thought there was life without the IMF, but “we did it and we did it well, on our own path, and we can reduce our state debt at our own pace,” Mr Matolcsy said.

The fight with the IMF was a “battle of life and death”, he said. With the IMF, Hungary could not have introduced the bank levy, crisis taxes or continued the reform of the pension system, he added.

The IMF led a EUR 20bn assistance package to the country at the height of the crisis late in 2008. Hungary returned to full market financing in the autumn of 2009 and Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced in the summer of 2010 that the country would not renew its standby arrangement with the IMF.


EU Presidency – Greenpeace urges energy ministers to opt for 100pc renewables

Budapest, May 2 (MTI) – Greenpeace Hungary held a demonstration in front of the hotel in Budapest where a delegation of EU energy ministers have arrived for a two-day summit in Godollo starting on Monday.

Greenpeace demands “a complete makeover” in energy policy, based 100 percent on renewable energy sources, Barbara Stoll, energy campaign chief for Greenpeace Hungary told reporters. She said ministers should take a stand on switching to 100 percent renewables today.

“At a time when oil prices are soaring, supplies are diminishing and trust in nuclear power fading, it is time for Europe to choose renewables and energy efficiency,” she told MTI.

The environmentalists set up a human-sized hourglass on the street opposite the ministers’ hotel. The glass contains coal dust instead of sand, to symbolise how non-renewable energy is destined to wither away, Stoll said.

Ministers are scheduled to discuss energy projects until 2050 in Godollo, near Budapest, on Tuesday. The European Commission is due to publish its energy roadmap before the end of the year, which will include alternatives on how member states can cut their carbon dioxide emissions by 85-95 percent over the next four decades.


Labour market symbolically opened on Austrian-Hungarian border

Budapest, May 1 (MTI) – Austria and Germany opened their labour markets to job seekers from eight central and eastern European countries on Sunday, among them Hungary.

Budapest, May 1 (MTI) – Austria and Germany opened their labour markets to job seekers from eight central and eastern European countries on Sunday, among them Hungary.

This is the dismantling the last obstacle to the free flow of manpower between the old and new members of the European Union, organisers of a labour partnership event said at Sopronpuszta on the Austrian border.

In 2004, when Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined the European Union, Austria and Germany were granted a seven-year exemption before being obliged to offer employment to applicants from the new member states. The term has now expired.

Contributors said that trades in which there is a labour shortage in Austria and Hungary are by and large identical, mainly in machine engineering. Nevertheless, labour cooperation is hoped to ease shortage, Szilvia Somogyi Rimanyi of the west Hungarian regional labour centre told MTI.

At present there are about 8,000 registered Hungarian employees in Burgenland, Austria’s easternmost province, mainly semi-skilled workers, farm hands and household helpers. Now the situation is expected to change, with a growing number of Hungarians with competitive trades and a command of German appearing on the Austrian labour market.


Austria and Germany opens up labour market for 2004-joined member states

As of today also Hungarian citizens along with other countries that joined the EU in 2004 are free to take jobs in Austria and Germany as they open up their job markets for this group of people.
According to EU statistics there were 20 000 jobs for offer in Austria and 400 000 in Germany in the recent days. The two countries kept the maximum 7 year restriction on the free flow of workers from these EU countries. The other member states had already earlier liftet their restrictions on their labour markets. As of today it is also possible to freely take on jobs in Switzerland. Even though the country is not a member of the European Union several bilateral agreements tie the country to the EU, MTV news reported today.