Gulyás: Sunday’s local and EP elections have strengthened the government

“Hungary will not participate in the NATO mission in Ukraine with money, weapons or soldiers,” Gergely Gulyás said.

Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, said Sunday’s local and European parliamentary elections have strengthened the government and given it a strong mandate to continue “spreading the message of peace” in international relations.

Gulyás said that without a boost to its pro-peace stance, the government “would have been unable to keep Hungary out of NATO’s military mission in Ukraine." The “fair” agreement between Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday, which maintained Hungarian interests, could be reached partly thanks to the election results, Gulyás said. “Hungary will not participate in the NATO mission in Ukraine with money, weapons or soldiers,” Gulyás said, adding that the government saw the mission as extremely dangerous that could end in the war spreading to larger areas, “in Hungary’s immediate neighbourhood”. Hungary continues to provide asylum to those fleeing the war, he added.

Government spokeswoman Eszter Vitályos said that over the past two weeks, 310 billion forints (EUR 780m) worth of investment projects, supported with government funds, were inaugurated in Hungary. Out of 84 large projects, 125 billion forints were spent on public road infrastructure development, including 116 billion forints on a new bridge spanning the Danube between Kalocsa and Paks and 2.5 billion forints for an M1 motorway exit at Páty. Regarding health care, she highlighted Pécs University’s new emergency medical centre for children which received 2.7 billion forints in government support. A total of 14 billion forints worth of investments were carried out in culture and public education, including 12 billion forints for the revamp of the Tisza château in Geszt. She added that a tourism development project has been completed in the Szolnok castle and a 700-metre-long bridge dubbed the bridge of national cohesion was opened in Sátoraljaújhely. Company development investments included a 115 billion forint grant to a capacity expansion at an electric parts plant in Szolnok, in central Hungary and an 80 billion forint expansion of energy drink maker Hell’s plant in Szikszó, Vitályos said. Other grants supported family-friendly and education investments at a pilgrimage site in Mátraverebély, in northern Hungary, in Miskolc, Karcag and other localities. A home renovation programme is also in the works, with the tender opening for the public in July, she said.

Fielding a question on the recount of the votes cast on the Budapest mayor candidates on Sunday, Gulyás said it was in everyone’s interest in case of such a close race that the result should be legitimate and beyond doubt. He said he expected the recount to clearly decide who won the election. Gulyás said there were many ways of looking at the election results. Compared with the previous election, the governing parties won less in percentage terms but that came after two challenging years of war, an energy crisis and economic difficulties. After two years like this, “we achieved the best result in Europe and received more votes than ever in a European parliamentary election, indeed, more than the parties that finished in second, third and fourth places combined,” he added.