Minister Gergely Gulyás: Europe needs to do more to move towards peace, as peace will not come on its own

The Hungarian government recently held a special briefing led by Gergely Gulyás, minister of the Prime Minister's Office, and government spokesperson Eszter Vitályos, addressing various national and international issues.

Minister Gulyás emphasized the severe dangers posed by the prolonged war in Ukraine to both Europe and Hungary. He pointed out that the human cost of the war is being paid by Russians and Ukrainians, including ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia. Additionally, Europe is bearing the economic costs, which justifies Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s peace mission. Gergely Gulyás highlighted that PM Orbán's diplomatic efforts involve maintaining dialogue with all parties involved in the conflict, emphasizing that major powers have a crucial role to play in achieving peace.

Reflecting on the lack of dialogue, Minister Gulyás mentioned, "Europe needs to do more to move towards peace, as peace will not come on its own." He also stressed that Hungary does not have a specific peace plan but believes a ceasefire is essential.

The Hungarian government has also launched an anti-war action plan to counter war propaganda. This plan includes measures to ensure transparency in media and party funding, especially regarding foreign sources. "We will compel media outlets and political parties to disclose their sources of funding," said Gulyás, adding that they reserve the right to return foreign funds if they are aimed at promoting war propaganda.

Considering the ongoing conflict, Hungary has introduced a defense contribution for multinational companies, banks, and energy firms to support national security. Banks exploiting loopholes regarding government bonds will also face a full bank tax. Additionally, measures are in place to control transaction fees and limit account maintenance and card usage fees to protect consumers.

The government is urging fuel traders to adhere to an agreement to keep fuel prices at or below the regional average. Minister Gulyás noted that current fuel prices have decreased significantly compared to their April peak.

Concerning air travel, he condemned the frequent delays and lack of communication at airports, calling for action plans from airlines and heavy penalties for non-compliance. "The treatment of passengers at airports is unacceptable," he stated.

Eszter Vitályos, meanwhile, announced an extension for families who took out the "baby-expecting" loan between 2019 and 2021 but have not yet had a child. The government has extended the deadline for having a child to July 1, 2026, benefiting thousands of families.

Regarding recent investments, Vitályos reported that over HUF 11 billion has been invested in various projects, including research and development, infrastructure, and sports facilities. Notable developments include a new research laboratory in Debrecen and infrastructure improvements in Balatonszéplak and Balatonfenyves.

The Hungarian government's recent updates underscore its commitment to national security, economic stability, and support for families amidst the ongoing European conflicts. Prime Minister Orbán's peace mission highlights Hungary's proactive stance in seeking dialogue and resolution, while domestic policies focus on transparency, economic measures, and enhancing the quality of life for Hungarian citizens.