PM promises ‘new era’ after Sunday vote

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Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is expecting a sweeping victory in this weekend’s municipal elections, and his government will launch a whole “new era” for Hungary as of Monday, he told Hungarian Kossuth Rádió’s “180 perc” program this morning. After local elections, the governing party is planning to continue their “policy of full cohesion”, Orbán said.

One of the key tasks, he said, is to establish “dual” vocational training. According to Orbán, as the Hungarian economy is developing, the country will soon encounter the problem of labor shortages. Therefore, the whole system of education would be switched to a “dual logic”. In this sytem, he explained, after elementary school, students would learn theory in schools and practice in jobs, as “the road to a successful life leads through a craft”.

Another key part of the upcoming educational policy is to ensure kindergarten enrollment for every child older than three. The prime minister said this would put an end to malnourishment among children, as every child in the educational system will have access to proper meals.

As of next September, educational policy will have a special focus on the “inclusion of the social group of Roma people”, Orbán added.

Orbán also addressed the situation of Tibor Navracsics – the recently resigned foreign minister whose candidacy for European commissioner for education, culture, youth and citizenship was recently rejected in Brussels. Orbán said he was confident Navracsics would eventually be appointed as a European commissioner with a different portfolio, and added that the type of portfolio is of secondry importance.

Yesterday evening, Orbán said in an interview with a local TV channel in the northern Hungarian town of Salgótarján that the government would continue to reduce utility prices in the first quarter of next year. Addressing the recent announcement of a new non-profit national utility company, the prime minister said the company is expected to be set up in the first quarter of next year, and will provide its services at the cheapest possible prices. As for private energy firms, Orbán said that they should not be concerned about the competition or think of leaving the market, but should wait for the establishment of the state-owned public utility company before deciding their place in the new market.

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