Ujhelyi re-elected as first vice-chair of EP’s TRAN committee makes him highest ranking Hungarian EP-official

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 Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi was elected as the first vice-chair of the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee for another two and a half years, which makes him the highest-ranking Hungarian MEP in the European Parliament.

In the previous parliamentary term, the MSZP MEP was the third vice-chair of the EP’s TRAN committee for several years, and was elected to the post of first vice-chair two years ago in recognition of his work – he was re-elected to this post with unanimous support at the mid-term elections. Following the expulsion of Fidesz MEPs from the EPP, who lost their influence and committee posts, with his first vice-chair position Ujhelyi is now the highest-ranking Hungarian politician in the European Parliament.
After the vote, the Socialist MEP stressed that the transport and tourism sectors are going through an extremely important period of European reforms, and that the TRAN vice-chair post therefore brings with it much more responsibility and even more opportunities than in previous periods.
In the transport field, Ujhelyi cited as examples the climate change package, the issues of digitalization and automation, changes in intelligent transport systems, or the priorities for urban mobility and the development of rail transport.
“Before the coronavirus, the tourism sector provided jobs for more than 27 million people, of which at least 6 million have been permanently under threat in the last year and a half. Before the pandemic, tourism was responsible for around 10% of GDP in the European Union, but this has now fallen substantially as a result of the crisis. One of the most important challenges ahead will be to responsibly re-launch the tourism economy, to focus on education and sustainability issues, and to develop digital training systems,” said István Ujhelyi after the TRAN Committee meeting.

Brussels/Budapest – 24.01.2022.

Ujhelyi: Records from Brussels prove Orbán-government did nothing to help those vaccinated with Eastern vaccines

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PZ__0187The Orbán government has abandoned Hungarians who had been vaccinated with vaccines from the East, (i.e. vaccines not authorized by the EU), as confirmed by Brussels records, said MSZP MEP István Ujhelyi in his online press conference.

The Socialist politician based his statement on the fact that although the Hungarian government delegate had numerous opportunities to make proposals in the competent committee to ensure the free travel of Hungarian citizens with Eastern vaccinations, he did not do so, according to the minutes from the meetings he had requested. At the press conference, Ujhelyi described the EU’s single Digital COVID Certificate as an important achievement the creation of which, he said, had played a significant role in preventing Europe’s functioning and economy from collapsing completely due to the impacts of the epidemic. He added, however, that there are at least two million Hungarian citizens who, having been forced to take vaccines from the East, are not entitled to the privileges of the single COVID certificate and are therefore discriminated against when traveling for work, study or commuting, for example, because they do not qualify as fully vaccinated.
“I was called an anti-vaccination murderer when I warned the government about this, but even then it was more concerned with propaganda and serving Fidesz economic circles than the fate of the Hungarian people”; Ujhelyi said. He added that after the government was unable to conclude a sufficient number of bilateral agreements with other countries on the recognition of Eastern vaccines, it started lobbying for at least the third, EU vaccines to be recognized as a condition for the COVID certificate. Ujhelyi said that in September last year, at his request, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, confirmed in writing that the issue would be put on the agenda of the Health Security Committee meeting.
However, this would require a proposal from a Hungarian government delegate at one of the panel’s meetings, the MSZP politician pointed out. At the press conference, the Socialist MEP explained that they had asked to see the minutes of the committee’s meetings, and they prove that the Fidesz government’s delegate had not once raised the issue of travel restrictions for Hungarians vaccinated with Eastern vaccines.
“Gergely Gulyás said at a recent government info session that the government delegate must have done everything he could on the matter and that he would look into the details. And pertaining to this case Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said: ‘we are literally lobbying on the matter’; Like hell you do! Not only have they not lobbied, but they are not even able to give us any answers on the matter, nor will they tell us who the government representative on this committee is. The government is lying and does not even realize the hardship that its decisions have caused hundreds of thousands of Hungarians. Fidesz is apparently only interested in political and financial gain in the management of the epidemic”; István Ujhelyi said.
MSZP’s European politician stressed that the EU is currently in the process of renegotiating the European covid-pass framework, so this will be an opportunity for the government to take substantive action, if they failed to do so thus far. Ujhelyi added that, as an MEP, he is in permanent consultation with the European Commission and will table the necessary amendments during the parliamentary process to ensure that the situation is handled in a reassuring way.

Budapest/Brussels – 18.01.2022.

Ujhelyi asks Brussels for accounting records of Hungarian EU-money for free covid-tests

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epf másolatSince the Hungarian government has not responded to his inquiry, István Ujhelyi is now asking the European Commission for the accounting records of the EU funding provided for free covid tests, as he believes that the use of the HUF 900 million budget is highly suspicious of corruption. This was announced by the MEP of MSZP-Dialogue in his online press conference, which was held in house quarantine due to covid infection.

Ujhelyi said it was stomach-churning that people and business circles linked to Fidesz had demonstrably profited from the purchase of equipment linked to the epidemic, and that this could also affect the HUF 900 million EU budget that the European Union granted the Hungarian government last year for the purchase of tests, although no information is yet available on the exact use of the money.
Ujhelyi said that almost a week ago he turned to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to find out exactly how and to whom free or reduced-price covid tests were provided from the non-reimbursable budget, which Ujhelyi, among others, had initiated in the European Parliament. The MSZP politician pointed out that the HUF 900 million package for Hungary as part of the €100 million overall framework would have provided a reduced-rate test last year to Hungarians who had to travel for work, study, commuting or other personal reasons, but were obliged to take the test because of restrictions.
Because of the flat-rate amount set by the European Commission, this could have affected hundreds of thousands of people, but as Ujhelyi pointed out, there is no real sign of this option in government communications. The MSZP politician said that since the government had failed to respond to his request in this regard, he would now turn to the European Commission to obtain the accounting records submitted by Hungary, which in principle should have been sent to Brussels in November last year. Ujhelyi stressed that if it turns out that business circles close to Fidesz have been profiting from this budget, he will also file the necessary report with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
A significant part of the population has suffered because of covid; many people have lost their loved ones and their livelihoods because of the epidemic, while Fidesz, entirely ignoring opposition criticism, has done nothing apart from making political and economic profit”, the MSZP MEP said.
Ujhelyi recalled that in September 2020, the public interest data he requested revealed that the government had first purchased covid tests worth HUF 9.6 billion, but even then there were some suppliers that were mainly engaged in real estate sales or had appeared in Azeri cases important to the Orbán government.
The Socialist politician also said at the press conference that Lőrinc Mészáros is also known to have interests in at least two companies, in one of them together with a local Fidesz-representative from Hévíz, that have recently recorded billions in sales, thanks in part to their booming covid-testing service. Referring to information published in the press, Ujhelyi also mentioned a company originally providing Thai massage services, which in a short time has become a nearly HUF 2 billion business thanks to a contract with the National Hospital Directorate General for antigen tests, and in which a former Fidesz MP and former state secretary was also involved.
At the same time, Ujhelyi called the deal involving the former Fidesz parliamentary group leader of Ferencváros the “most brazen and vile, suggestive of serious corruption”, in this case the National Hospital Directorate General ordered rapid tests worth HUF 3.1 billion from a company that the ruling party politician had only founded in the months before the contract was signed. Moreover, as a further detail of the peculiar business, the MEP added that the Fidesz politician quickly sold the company to a young man in his twenties living in a village in Borsod after the deal. According to Ujhelyi, the question is therefore whether any of the HUF 900 million budget frame he initiated and made available to Hungary ended up in Fidesz’s circles through similar deals. The MSZP MEP made it clear that if need be, he would sue for the necessary data in EU and Hungarian courts.

Budapest/Brussels – 12.01.2022.

Filled with Love Torn Apart…

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vaslevI admit that to this day I feel queasy when I hear pro-family propaganda from government officials (and before the media commando extracts this half-sentence and starts a smear campaign, please do read on), not because I have a problem with supporting Hungarian families by any means, but because I find the false piety-soaked narrative that the NER elite are drenching it all in to be infinitely hypocritical and fake.

I find it evil to the core that the Fidesz government is parading as the saviour and supporter of families, when in the last decade they have committed numerous crimes against them. For example, they have torn apart many families with their calculated hatred, which has poisoned the lives of countless people for generations and for which they have not even a shred of shame.

It is the fourth Sunday of Advent. The fourth and last candle is always a symbol of love. With respect to this, I too try to share my thoughts in a restrained yet straightforward manner. But you have to wonder whether the leaders of the NER elite, when they gently light the candle of love in privacy, surrounded by their families and loved ones (and post it like a shop window on their social media pages) think of the families that have been torn apart over the last decade by their exclusionary hate policies?

Indeed, there are many families in Hungary that will not be sitting down together at the Christmas table in a few days’ time because one half of the family has accepted and believes it to be true that the other half are effectively traitors, simply because they have a different view of the world and the fate of the country. There will be no cozy and large family Christmas dinners in many homes because Fidesz, fuelled by infinite and calculating evil, has split this nation in two; it has allowed, and even encouraged, that political affiliation become more important than family ties. They have inflicted wounds that will not be healed for a long time to come and that will not be erased by billboard slogans of false piety and pretentious rhetoric.

It would be a cheap, overused joke to note that Fidesz’s ‘family-friendly’ governance can really only be detected in the way they legislate, take economic measures and divert public assets to serve the interests of the families of the NER elite. A much used, popular reference indeed, but true nonetheless. Meanwhile, as MSZP co-president Bertalan Tóth rightly pointed out in yesterday’s Népszava article, a significant proportion of families have not only received no help from the government, but have been worse off in recent years. The amount of the family allowance, child support, child benefit and maternity allowance has remained unchanged for 13 years, while the poverty rate of single-parent families, for example, has increased by almost a third in two years. Fidesz refers to the family tax allowance, but this is only partly justified, as they are hiding the fact that parents who do not earn enough to comply with the regulation cannot take advantage of this opportunity. Those who earn a lot, on the other hand, are better off. Moreover, the forint has recently become much weaker, with inflation at a rate not seen for 14 years, and Hungarian families have to pay much more for everything.

From the decks of yachts and private jets, I am sure that things look different. But reality always comes knocking, even on carefully curtained windows. Fidesz has turned love into hate, security into insecurity, community into narrow elites, and the nation into sects. I hope that when they light the candle of love this Sunday, they will remember for a moment what they have done to this country.

After the Hungarian Prime Minister’s landmark speech in Tusványos in 2014, proclaiming the illiberal state, I vowed that, as an MEP, I would write an open letter every week to warn the public of the regime’s crimes. For the three hundred and twenty-ninth time, I am ringing the bells of alarm, because it seems necessary. And because, as a radical European democrat, it is my duty to do so.

István Ujhelyi

Member of the European Parliament

19 December 2021

 

Constitutional Court Decision: No Green Light, but Opportunity to Prepare for HUXIT

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jogThere is no question that Orbán’s intention with the Constitutional Court petition on migration was to further increase tensions between the European Union and the Fidesz government.

As I have pointed out on several occasions, the Constitutional Court’s role in the Polish-style petition was not just to settle a legal dispute, but also to prove its independence and prevent the Fidesz government from losing further control. These latter objectives were only partially met by the body filled with government party delegates.

While today’s decision of the Constitutional Court does not call into question the primacy of EU law, and Orbán’s party has not been given the green light to ignore the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the legal loopholes do, and could, provide an opportunity to prepare for HUXIT. The Constitutional Court has in fact given the Hungarian legislature the opportunity (and we all know the Fidesz approach to bending the law to its own interests) to take back certain powers and exercise them itself, if necessary by declaring the EU’s exercise of powers to be inadequate or ineffective. 

This is a much weaker decision than a similar ruling by the Polish Constitutional Court, nonetheless it could give Orbán and his gang a real opportunity for further legal mayhem. It is clear and unambiguous that Fidesz no longer sees the weakening and destruction of the European Union as just as a political game, but also as a concrete objective, guided and financed by who knows what kind of backing power. Orbán’s political rampage, born out of frustration and clearly insane, could well mean the end of our membership of the EU. 

The stakes of the change of government are therefore no longer simply whether Hungary can once again be a democratic and free-air country, but whether it can remain a member of the European Community, which guarantees the security and prosperity of our country.

dr. István Ujhelyi
Member of the European Parliament
Budapest/Brussels – 10.12.2021.

Ujhelyi Expects Hungarian EU Commissioner to Explain Government’s Statements

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Varhelyi_OrbanDespite his request for concrete information on the truthfulness of the alleged pressure exerted by the Hungarian government in Brussels, the MSZP MEP has not received a reply to his written inquiry to EU Commissioner Olivier Várhelyi for more than two months. This was reported by István Ujhelyi at an online press conference in Brussels on Wednesday.

In a video broadcast on his social media website, the socialist politician said, among other things, that Fidesz was making statements and wanting to hold a referendum on issues that had nothing to do with reality.

Ujhelyi recalled that according to government statements, the European Union institutions were punishing the Hungarian government for resisting “Brussels'” efforts to allow LGBTQ activists into Hungarian schools and kindergartens to promote, among other things, sex-change operations to children. According to István Ujhelyi, this is utter nonsense, yet, he added, many people believe “this nonsense” because they are ignorant of the reality of the government’s claims.

The MSZP MEP added that he had written to EU Commissioner Olivier Várhelyi in September to seek clarification of the matter and to inform the Hungarian public. In his letter now made public, Ujhelyi pointed out that Várhelyi’s EU mandate letter also clearly states that the European Commission “operates on the principle of collegiality”, i.e. all Commission decisions are taken jointly and represented jointly. Accordingly, the MSZP MEP pointed out, the Hungarian government’s delegate, Oliver Várhelyi, should also have precise and clear information on this issue.

Among other things, Ujhelyi expects the Hungarian commissioner to answer the question whether, as a Hungarian member of the European Commission, he is aware that the EU body has put Hungary at a disadvantage because, as Fidesz claims, it disagrees with the current Hungarian government’s position on the refugee issue and, more specifically, because the Orbán government does not allow LGBTQ activists into Hungarian kindergartens. Ujhelyi said he would like Várhelyi to confirm whether as a Hungarian member of the European Commission he had supported the negative decisions taken against Hungary because of this issue, and if the Hungarian government’s statements on this issue are, in fact, not true, whether he has indicated to the Orbán government that they were knowingly or mistakenly spreading false information about the European Commission and European processes, thus misleading the Hungarian electorate.

“Unfortunately, Commissioner Várhelyi has not been able to answer these questions for two months now. (…) No one has ever been able to build cooperation on lies, while that is exactly what we need with the EU institutions and the other Member States,” István Ujhelyi added in his online press conference.

Brussels/Budapest – 08.12.2021.

 

They Keep Bowing Towards East, But Flee West

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gyerehazaIt’s the second Sunday of Advent, and hopefully more and more families will be gathering to celebrate the holidays together cosily. Unfortunately, I also know of families in my own environment who cannot be together even at this time of year: some families have been torn apart by government hate politics, others have their young living abroad and are less able to travel home for financial reasons or because of epidemic restrictions. Emigration remains one of Hungary’s greatest tragedies of our time, a new-generation Trianon, which the Fidesz government has treated with its usual arrogance, obnoxiousness and one-upmanship over the past ten years. It is worth remembering when, a few years ago, hundreds of millions were spent on the “Come home, youth!” state campaign but it was cancelled after a while because only a hundred young people managed to come home with that amount of money, including one who was offered a temporary job in the state company that organized the programme itself. And the gravity of the matter is apparently also felt in Fidesz, as even the decreasingly sane László Kövér recently said at forum held in the countryside that 25 million workers have left Central-East Europe for the West in the last 30 years, costing the countries concerned at least a thousand billion euros, and that ‘the retention capacity of the motherland must be increased’. My message to Mr Kövér is that he could start by not promptly declaring those who do not blindly follow Fideszt to be traitors. After all, many people are leaving the country now because they find it simply unliveable: and not just because of the livelihood crises but because of that moldy, stale-air, hate-fuelled social climate that the NER elite has deliberately imposed on our country. “The ‘retention power’ of the motherland would be greatly enhanced if lunatics like Kövér were to retire.

I have been drawing attention to the dangers and serious impacts of emigration for a very long time now: I have repeatedly called on the government to take substantive action on the issue, but despite the fact that I have put the ‘Welcome Home Programme’ on the table, the government has of course continued to reject it with an arrogant, shoulder shrugging refusal.

Yet the problem is still serious, despite the efforts of the NER-celebrities and pocket analysts to pass off the changing trends and occasional positive elements as a long-lasting result. As MSZP co-president Bertalan Tóth pointed out: according to this year’s Závecz Research survey, one in five (!) young Hungarians are planning to move abroad. This is a real tragedy, especially if we add that in recent years around 100,000 Hungarian children have been born abroad, and there have been years when more Hungarian children were born in the UK, for example, than in the whole of Vas County in the same year.

In 2012, Viktor Orbán said that if they were given another four years in the next elections, “in six years’ time, we will have a country where everyone will want to come home.” In reality, all Viktor Orbán and his mafia team have managed to achieve with the mandate they have been given is that even his own daughter and son-in-law have moved to Spain. It is true though that according to the latest Government Info, they allegedly left the country only because “in the six months before the elections, part of the family must have thought it would be easier if they were not in Hungary.” I would just like to add quietly that it will not be easier for them after the elections either, because for every single stolen and embezzled public money-forint, we will be holding everyone accountable, including Orbán’s relatives. No exceptions, no escape.

As for Fidesz’s attitude and the endless hypocrisy behind the national veneer: while they are forging relations with the Kipchaks, bowing and scraping at the eastern ends and frothing on western democracies, they are educating their children in enlightened and prosperous western democracies, as a rule. Interestingly, we do not hear of any Fidesz leader sending his children to, say, Kazakhstan, or Turkmenistan, that gives us our Kipchak tribal leaders, or, say, Moscow, to lay the foundations for their future. The real attitude and callous pettiness of the NER, by the way, is best illustrated by the recent slip of the tongue of Tamás Lánczi, government political scientist and online director of the state-owned public media MTVA, who once was an honourable man. He argued in favour of the “definite advantages” of leaving the European Union, saying that Hungarian young people would then at least not be able to take jobs in Western Europe. Oh dear. Many times you really don’t know whether this is a sign of total madness in Fidesz and its servile court, or whether they really have no idea what is happening in the world.

After the Hungarian Prime Minister’s landmark speech in Tusványos in 2014, proclaiming the illiberal state, I vowed that as an MEP I would write an open letter every week to warn the public of the regime’s crimes. For the three hundred and twenty-seventh time, I am ringing the bells of alarm, because it seems necessary. And because, as a radical European democrat, it is my duty to do so.

István Ujhelyi

Member of the European Parliament

05.12.2021.

MEP Ujhelyi invited to take on special tourism industry related role

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ADZ_20211126_0143-2_focuspointscale_w2204_h1088_fx0_fy0Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi, an esteemed politician in the sector, has been officially asked to be Chief Adviser to the world’s most important network of tourism and gastronomy education institutions. This was announced on Monday evening at the World Travel Market travel industry expo in London. The Swiss Education Group (SEG) that asked the Hungarian politician to be its chief adviser, operates 4 independent higher education institutions on 6 different campuses, all of which (Swiss Hotel Management School, César Ritz Colleges Switzerland, Hotel Institute Montreux, and Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland) are among the top 10 colleges of the QS World Ranking. These institutions have more than 6,000 students from over 100 countries, including Hungary.

“I have been working for the development the tourism industry for 15 years now. I have served as Chair of the National Tourism Commission, as Ambassador Extraordinary to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and as Vice-Chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament, as well. I am committed to supporting a sector that provides jobs for 25 million people in Europe and at least 500,000 in Hungary,” said István Ujhelyi in response to his appointment as Chief Advisor. The European politician added that the pandemic made everyone realize how vulnerable and exposed all players in the service sector are, from the largest enterprises through small, family-run businesses. “I have long advocated that one of the most important tasks ahead of us is to modernize the underlying vocational training systems; to find, educate and prepare the next generation. From vocational schools through prestigious universities, everyone is working to ensure that there is enough high quality human capacity in the industry. The invitation I received came from the top of this realm of education and I was happy to take on the challenge of helping to develop new programmes, train the experts to lead the future of sustainable and ‘smart’ tourism, and take part in talent management,” Ujhelyi said.

The MSZP MEP said he hoped that many young people from Hungary will also get the chance to attend the famous workshops, for which scholarship programmes and sponsor companies are being sought. “Unfortunately, for many in Hungary today it is still a dream to enter the labour market with an SEG diploma,” said István Ujhelyi, whose appointment as chief adviser is for an indefinite period. “This role in shaping the future is not only compatible with my political involvement, but an enhancement,” the MEP added.

Brussels/Budapest – 2/11/2021

Ujhelyi: Government Fails Hungarians Vaccinated with Eastern Vaccines!

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_LEZ1089“Viktor Orbán has failed, and the Hungarian government is simply not taking care of those Hungarians whose travel options are limited”; István Ujhelyi said at a press conference held on Tuesday in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The MSZP MEP recalled that the regulation on the single EU Digital COVID Certificate came into force in July this year, but it automatically accepts only vaccines authorized by the EU as proof of full vaccination. Ujhelyi stressed that he had already warned the government at the time that they had to act because the freedom of movement of hundreds of thousands of Hungarians to work, study or visit relatives could be jeopardized by the forced use of vaccines from the East, which Ujhelyi claimed had been obtained under suspiciously corrupt circumstances. The MSZP MEP recalled that this summer, together with Fidesz politicians, he voted in favour of the amendments and the final document containing them, which left the door open to the mutual acceptance of unauthorized vaccines between Member States. At the same time, however, Ujhelyi pointed out that the Hungarian government has so far managed to conclude bilateral agreements with only a few countries (only seven EU Member States), such as Cape Verde, Bahrain, Uzbekistan and most recently the Seychelles.

The Socialist MEP criticized Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for not even raising the issue at the European Council meetings, or even trying to get all Member States to accept the eastern vaccines administered to nearly two million Hungarians without restrictions. Ujhelyi cited Germany as an example, where according to the latest decision Hungarians vaccinated with Eastern vaccines alone may be subject to quarantine for several days, but in many other countries relevant and important for Hungarians, Hungarian citizens who have received Chinese or Russian vaccines can only cross the border after expensive PCR tests. The MSZP politician recalled that thanks to his personal intervention, the President of the European Commission has confirmed in writing that the competent Health Security Committee, composed of delegates of the Governments of the Member States, will put on the agenda of its sessions the need for Hungarians who receive an EU approved vaccine as the third vaccine after two from the East to be qualified as fully vaccinated in EU system, but, as Ujhelyi noted, the Hungarian government representative sitting in the committee has not yet formally presented this request.

At the press conference, the Socialist MEP also said that he had heard from reliable sources that some members of the foreign affairs leadership had already secretly taken the fourth vaccination in order to have two EU approved vaccinations and thus not be subject to restrictions. He said that he had submitted a public interest request to the Ministry on this issue, but had still not received a reply after the legal deadline. According to Ujhelyi, the Foreign Ministry is also lying about the refusal of several EU Member States to conclude a bilateral agreement on the acceptance of Eastern vaccinations, “under political pressure from Brussels”; he claimed the reality is that the Hungarian government “messed up”; and has been failing hundreds of thousands of Hungarians ever since.

Budapest – 16/11/2021

Ujhelyi: Government Should Pay for Tests of Eastern Vaccine Recipients

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IMG-8469The Hungarian government is either impotent or simply insensitive to the daily problems of hundreds of thousands of Hungarians, said Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi in his online press conference on Friday, referring to the fact that the Hungarian government has so far only managed to reach an agreement with a few countries on the acceptance of eastern vaccines; therefore, in most countries, costly restrictions still await the Hungarians concerned.

As a personal example, the MSZP-Dialogue Alliance MEP said that during his talks in England this week, he met Hungarians living in the UK who have a serious problem with the fact that the jabs of their relatives who had been given Eastern vaccines are not recognized, so they face several days of house quarantine and expensive compulsory testing if they wish to cross the border.

Ujhelyi recalled that in recent months the Hungarian government has indeed already concluded some bilateral agreements on the acceptance of China’s Sinopharm and Russia’s SputnikV, however, apart from Cape Verde, San Marino, Uzbekistan, India, Bahrain, Kazakhstan and Mongolia, only seven EU countries have managed to reach such agreements to date. “This is a crucial problem for many people, who do not necessarily want to be tourists, but need to travel free of restrictions and extra burdens for their livelihoods, work, studies or family visits,” Ujhelyi said.

The politician also pointed out that he had succeeded in getting the President of the European Commission agree to have his proposal addressed in one of the competent committees. According to the proposal at least the third, EU approved booster jab should be sufficient to make the recipient  exempt, but so far Hungarian government officials have not taken any supportive steps in this regard.

The Socialist MEP, referring also to the outcome of his consultations with Hungarians living abroad, suggested at the press conference that until the government’s failure to have Eastern vaccines widely accepted is resolved, the Hungarian government should set up a financial fund to cover the cost of mandatory tests for the Hungarian citizens concerned.

“Those who have to travel for work, study or important family visits to a country that does not recognize the Eastern vaccines should be reimbursed for the cost of their compulsory tests on the basis of the invoices they present. This should be the duty of the Hungarian government,” said István Ujhelyi. At the same time, the Socialist politician called on the government to “stand their ground” and conclude a separate agreement with all countries important for Hungary on the acceptance of Eastern vaccines and “walk through those Brussels doors” that the MSZP politician opened for them.

Budapest / Brussels – 5.11.2021.