PM Orban pledges jobs, new constitution by spring 2011

Budapest, September 4 (MTI) – Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban pledged to press ahead with job creation and the adoption of a new constitution for Hungary by spring next year at a closed-door meeting of right-wing intellectuals on Saturday.

Addressing the event, held annually since 2004 in the southwest Hungarian village of Kotcse, Orban identified five focal issues: the local council elections, next year’s budget, the new business-stimulating Szechenyi plan, the new constitution and Hungary’s presidency of the European Union due in the first half of 2011, according to a report on the event published on Orban’s website.

    He said a new constitution would have to be adopted by the spring of 2011.

    Orban pledged to continue work along a “national consensus” reached on the goals of restoring economic balance, job creation and improving public order and safety. He said that these challenges would be met by the new government’s more realistic policies, which are unlike “the utopia of the previous Socialist government,” the website report said.

    ”The budget will be based on real numbers, the new Szechenyi plan will give an opportunity for those who earlier had none” and the October 3 local elections “will be about reality, not promises,” the prime minister said.

    Orban said that national cohesion resulted from an alliance between Hungary’s middle classes and the poorer social groups which gives a foothold for the new government.

    ”It is the task of the right-wing middle classes to nurture that alliance, revive the economy and steer the country out of a debt trap,” Orban said. In order to achieve this, job creation must be in the focus of economic policy, he added.

    The meeting was by invitation only; President Pal Schmitt and several ministers were reported among participants. The attendance of the president at a “party event” was criticised by the leader of the radical nationalist Jobbik party at a press conference on Saturday.

    Recent polls indicate that Orban’s centre-right Fidesz party will score a sweeping victory at the October 3 local elections over its main rival, the former governing Socialist party.