Sándor Pintér, slated to continue leading the interior ministry in the fourth consecutive Orbán government, told parliament’s defence and law enforcement committee that the ministry’s objectives would remain the same in the new cycle, with a focus on upgrading the wages of law enforcement professionals “coupled with the country’s economic performance”.
At his hearing as interior minister candidate, Pintér said “there is order in the country”. The crime rate has been falling since 2010, he said, citing registered crimes in public places as an example, which plummeted from 115,000 to 46,000. Those numbers show that the government’s crime policy “is on the right path”, he said. Citizens’ sense of security is much better now than it was in 2010, and the ministry will work to improve it further, he said. Regarding wage hikes in law enforcement, Pintér noted “significant one-off support” recently provided for staff. His aim as minister will be to build that support into their regular wages, he said. Pintér praised prison development, saying that the new prisons that opened in the past cycle will have to be developed further to allow space for new inmates. Regarding overcrowding, Pintér said the number of inmates was down at 18,800 from 19,000 “at the peak”.
The minister added that healthcare will be “in good hands” overviewed by the interior ministry. Pintér said he wished “to build on the existing foundations through cooperation”. As priorities, Pintér mentioned IT developments in the health sector, and increasing the role of church and civil organizations in welfare services. He said priorities also included improving conditions for the disabled, better coordination between basic and specialized health services and reducing the waiting lists for health procedures. Pintér said he was not seeking to manage the health and welfare areas alone, adding that he believed in a leadership structure in which representatives of each area could contribute to decision making.
Photo credit: MTI