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May 31st, 2010

President appoints new cabinet members

Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom presented letters of appointment to the members of Viktor Orban’s new centre-right government in Sandor Palace, Budapest, at 1pm on Saturday.

Solyom appointed Sandor Pinter to minister of the interior, Csaba Hende to minister of defence, Tibor Navracsics to minister of public administration and justice, Janos Martonyi to foreign minister, Gyorgy Matolcsy to minister of national economy, Miklos Rethelyi to minister of national resources, Tamas Fellegi to minister of national development, Sandor Fazekas to minister of rural development and Zsolt Semjen to minister without portfolio.

The appointments officially mark the new government’s entry into office.

The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The ministers then returned to Parliament and took their oath of office.

Tibor Navracsics, 43, will serve as deputy prime minister overseeing public administration and the justice system. The one-time lawyer has been put in charge of transforming the whole system of government so as to boost efficiencies and long-term financial sustainability. Navracsics has been leader of Fidesz’s parliamentary group since 2006.

Zsolt Semjen, 48, the other deputy prime minister, will have a generalised portfolio. He is a theologian and sociologist and was founding member of the Christian Democratic Party in 1989. He was elected leader of the party in 2003 and re-elected to the post in 2006.

Sandor Pinter, 62, will reprise his role as minister of the interior. A former police officer, Pinter was head of the Budapest police force in 1991 and national police chief from 1991 to 1996. He was the interior minister between 1998 and 2002.

Csaba Hende, 50, the new defence minister, worked as political state secretary in the justice ministry between 1998 and 2002 and served as Orban’s cabinet head in 2002. He quit the Hungarian Democratic Forum party to join Fidesz in 2004.

Janos Martonyi, 66, holding the foreign affairs portfolio, is a lawyer by profession. He worked in the Foreign Ministry as administrative state secretary from 1991 to 1994. He was foreign minister in Viktor Orban’s government in 1998-2002.

Gyorgy Matolcsy, 55, an economist, will head a super-ministry in charge of the economy. He served as economy minister for the final two years of Orban’s last government, which ruled between 1998 and 2002.

Miklos Rethelyi, 71, was appointed to head a new ministry of national resources which encompasses health care, education, culture and youth. A medical professor, Rethelyi served as president of the Semmelweis University, Hungary’s main medical training and research institution, between 1991 and 1995, and the university’s health-care management centre in between 1995 and 2000.

Tamas Fellegi, 54, was appointed to minister of national development in charge of state asset management. A university professor and media businessman, he was a political advisor to Orban in 1993-1994. He is owner of publisher of conservative weekly Heti Valasz and commercial Lanchid radio and has a stake in pop radio Class FM.

Sandor Fazekas, 47, will head the ministry of rural development. A law graduate, Fazekas was Fidesz’s county group leader between 2002-2006.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU&feature=related Viking

    Sandor Pinter, 62, will reprise his role as minister of the interior. A former police officer, Pinter was head of the Budapest police force in 1991 and national police chief from 1991 to 1996. He was the interior minister between 1998 and 2002

    Gyorgy Matolcsy, 55, an economist, will head a super-ministry in charge of the economy. He served as economy minister for the final two years of Orban’s last government, which ruled between 1998 and 2002

    1) Pinter was a surprise election as interior minister last time also in 1998 and suggestions came up that he had info on known politicians then it was a bit hard to understand why he would be chosen

    2) Matolcsy was then instrumental in the shift in 2000 from a rather restricted budget, to the ‘buy votes’-scheme that Orban started with when the mid-term polls showed Fidesz had lost public support in 2000.
    The method to change this was to artificially fund a rise in people’s living standard, the introduction of minimum wages etc.
    This policy was continued, but more aggressively by the Horn Government (MSZP) from the won the 2002 elections, by promising more than Orban and Fidesz
    But the trend from responsible budgets that the legacy from the ‘Bokross’-years still influenced public life in the end of the 90s, was broken by the 1st Orban Government.
    After that it went downwards
    Question is if Matolcsy will be as good as saving money as he was as spending them before?

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