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Government to submit 2019 budget bill on June 13

Hungaryʼs government plans to submit the 2019 budget bill to Parliament on June 13, Gergely Gulyás, the newly appointed minister in charge of the Prime Ministerʼs Office, confirmed at the traditional regular press briefing on Thursday.   

Gergely Gulyás

Gulyás confirmed that the budget bill would target a general government deficit under 2% of GDP and assume economic growth of over 4%.

Gulyás also said the government had discussed at its first cabinet meeting an amended bill that would make organizing illegal immigration a criminal offense. The more stringent version of the controversial so-called "Stop Soros" package - in reference to a plan for managing the migrant crisis the government has repeatedly alleged was outlined by Hungarian-born investor and philanthropist George Soros - will be submitted to Parliament next Tuesday.

The bill has been widely and strongly criticized, by the Open Society Foundations founded by Soros, by the Council of Europe, and by the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, among others.

The government will propose amending the Constitution to make it clear that Hungary can grant asylum only in cases in which it is the first safe country in which an asylum seeker arrives, Gulyás noted.

Another amendment to the Constitution the government will propose would establish a Supreme Administrative Court on a par with the Kúria, Hungaryʼs supreme court, the minister added. At present, Hungary has eight regional administrative courts, but no Supreme Administrative Court.