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Economic and Social Council backs New Hungary Development Plan

The Economic and Social Council (GSzT), a forum of the government, employers, employees, chambers and representatives of science, voiced its support on Monday for the government's New Hungary Development Plan to be implemented under the second National Development Plan in 2007-2013, the EU's next budgetary period.

The New Hungary Development Plans sets employment, economic growth, cohesion and stability as its main aims, government commissioner in charge of development policy Gordon Bajnai said. President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) and co-chairman of GSZT Szilveszter E. Vizi termed the plan's recognition of Hungary's social and economic problems a positive step.
Bajnai said decisions would be taken later on how much to spend on employment programs, infrastructure, roads, environmental projects and projects in underdeveloped regions. He said the New Hungary Development Plan is in harmony with the government's state reform plans, the convergence program and the EU’s Lisbon action plan.
Vizi, however, said the role of state capital and Hungarian SMEs is missing from the document. He said more emphasis should be placed on Hungary's innovative talent and on the entire Carpathian region.
Speaking about education, Minister of Education and Culture István Hiller said Hungary's colleges and universities should put quality over quantity.
László Parragh, chairman of the Hungarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (MKIK), said businesses' top priorities are to see SMEs developed and the education system rethought to include a greater emphasis on vocational training. A competitive tax system is also important, he said.