Download2The opposition Socialists have urged voters to write messages of freedom on ribbons and tie them to Budapest’s Liberty bridge. Every resident would thereby express their support for a “freedom fight”, Istvan Ujhelyi, the party’s deputy leader, said on Tuesday, calling for a freedom fight against child poverty and high food prices. Ujhelyi, joined by Kata Tutto, a member of the party’s presidium, told a press conference at the foot of the bridge that the campaign is in response to Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s statement four years ago that he was a freedom-fighter. Instead, Ujhelyi insisted, he fights against freedom. The prime minister should be mounting attacks on unemployment, poverty and the decline of health-care services instead of against European Union institutions, he added. – 10.09.2014



644_ujhelyi02Opposition Socialist Party MEP Istvan Ujhelyi asked the European Commission for compensation to help sectors that face difficulties as a result of the Russian sanctions, the party said on Saturday. Ujhelyi, a member of the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, wants the Commission to prepare without delay sufficient compensation for sectors hit by Russia’s import ban, including Hungary’s agriculture, a statement sent to MTI shows. Some of the most important export products from the EU to Russia are agricultural products, with Hungarian exports from the sector totalling more than 70 billion forints to Russia last year, it added. The Socialists project that Hungarian small and medium sized companies will lose some 25 billion forints as a result of Russian President Putin’s policies and tens of thousands of jobs will be under threat. Ujhelyi also called on the Hungarian government to efficiently represent the country’s interests and started a campaign on his social networking site to promote the consumption of Hungarian goods. – 17.08.2014




dsc_7548-600x400A festival featuring premium products designated as Hungaricum opened in the city of Szeged, in the country’s south, on Thursday. Punters are being given the chance to sample the products which are uniquely Hungarian, including gastronomic specialties and wines from the major wine regions, as well as palinka and traditional handicrafts, Lorand Istvan Szakali, state secretary of agricultural development and Hungaricums, said at the event’s opening. Festivals organised in Hungary play an important role in the country’s tourism sector, Istvan Ujhelyi, a Socialist MEP, said at the event which is taking place for the seventh time. Tourism and catering account for 9.9 percent of the country’s economic output, and the sectors employ 400,000 people, said Ujhelyi, a deputy president of the EP’s transport and tourism committee. The Hungaricum list includes Csaba sausage, Pick and Herz salamis, goose liver products, Tokaji Aszu wine, Kalocsa paprika, Mako onion, acacia honey, as well as the Herend and Zsolnay porcelains, soda water, Beres dietary supplement drops and Halas lace, among many others. – 01-08.2014

Socialist MEP wants facts on EU funding freeze


ujhelyepSocialist MEP István Ujhelyi has turned to the European Commission (EC) for an explanation of its decision in mid-April to freeze the remittance of development funds to Hungary, citing Fidesz’s unapproved transformation of the subsidy management system. Ujhelyi has asked why payments were stopped, when they will resume and when Hungary last submitted and received payments on an invoice for European Union development grants.

When the national development office NFÜ was wound up at the end of last year, the oversight of EU development fund administration was given to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), where Chancellor János Lázár would oversee HUF 8.3 trillion worth of development funds. It was soon reported that the party strongman had fallen out with Budapest mayor István Tarlós and had personally ensured there would be no public transport developments in the capital during the EU’s 2014-20 budget period. Lázár gave priority to the construction of a tramline connecting Szeged and his home town of Hódmezővásárhely, however.

Opposition party Together-Dialogue for Hungary meanwhile demanded Lázár’s resignation and the restoration of the NFÜ. The PMO says the EC has transferred a total of €1.3 billion in 30 payments to Hungary since April 15. However this figure does not refer to development funds.

Speaking in Brussels, Ujhelyi told reporters that “Hungarian businesses should not be penalised thanks to the government’s unscrupulousness and ignorance,” adding that the Hungarian government is expected to observe European rules of transparency and fair procedure. – 07.23.2014



D__TT20140417010After a proposal has been accepted to name a room in European Parliament after former Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn, Hungary’s opposition Socialists have motioned to do the same in the Hungarian Parliament. Horn is one of the best known 20th century Hungarian politicians and the 10th anniversary of Hungary’s European Union accession would be a good time for the room dedication, as it was Horn who had first raised Hungary’s EU integration, Istvan Ujhelyi, the party’s deputy leader, said on Thursday. He added that the Socialists do not want to be selfish and they would support a similar name-giving initiative for Jozsef Antall, the one-time conservative prime minister, too, were there one. Hungary’s Christian Democratic MEP Laszlo Surjan and the radical nationalist Jobbik party had earlier raised objections to the EP naming a room after Horn. On Thursday, Jobbik deputy leader Elod Novak repeated his party’s protest aginst honouring Horn, and said that the former prime minister should be prosecuted for “siding with the Soviets and fighting against his own people”.

Novak went on to say that under Horn’s government national assets were wasted and the country grew more and more indebted.

Fidesz lawmaker Gergely Gulyas also said that he thought Horn’s role played in the former, communist regime “does not justify” that he should be the name-giver of a room in the EP. – 18.04.2014