Hungary increases defence budget, offers clear career path for soldiers, says minister

Budapest, November 26 (MTI) – The Hungarian government will increase defence spending in its next year’s budget and develop a clear career path for soldiers, Defence Minister Csaba Hende said in Budapest on Friday.

Recent natural disasters have made it clear that Hungary can rely on its army in trouble, Hende told a conference focusing on the past 20 years of Central Europe.

    Hungary plans to increase the number of voluntary reserve soldiers who will assist in disaster management and guard military facilities, he said.

    Hende said that Hungary had been unable to fulfil its NATO obligations since 2002. Nothing has been implemented so far from the ten-year army development plan drafted in 2006, he added.

    The minister said that when he entered office earlier this year, he found the army in “moral crisis” as many of the personnel decisions made during the previous years were politically motivated.          

    In its current condition, Hungary’s armed forces have limited capabilities to fulfil its tasks as stipulated in the constitution, Hende said.