January 12, 2014
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The Hungarian government gives another 1000 million Euro EU-funds to the churches, according to the weekly Világgazdaság. 4% of EU development funds may be used to fund public administration according to EU funding rules, but the governments are free to allocate these funds to other purposes and the Hungarian government has done so – stated Mr János Lázár, MP and head of the prime minister’s office, who from January 1st is also responsible for the distribution of EU monies received from the EU in the framework of their cohesion policies for the years 2014-2020, in his parliamentary answer to Mr László Varju (Democratic Coalition), who had asked on which grounds the government plans to allocate 300 000 million forints specifically to the churches, although church projects are also eligible for funding within regular programmes and have successfully applied for EU monies also during the funding period 2006-2013.
Mr Lázár, who has been notorious for having stated that a person’s worth is measured by their income, just has received a lot of attention this week, thanks to the internet news portal Cink, who found a Facebook post shared by Ms Donatella Failoni about a hunting party she took part in last December. The hunting party was organised by Mr Lázár and included actor Sándor Oszter (husband of Ms Failoni) as well as Archduke Michael of Habsburg and wife, Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein and wife. During the hunt 912 pheasants were shot for pleasure.
January 24, 2013
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700 million forints (ca. 2.35 million Euros) of public Hungarian and EU funds were allocated to the development of religious tourism in the Alföld region. The project is one of the 34 featured tourism projects, and it will include not only the restoration of religious buildings of public interest, but also the creation of several theme parks and the building of new chapels and pilgrims’ hostels.
October 26, 2010
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Mr László Tőkés, former bishop of the reformed church and present vice president of the European Parliament for the European People’s Party, for Romania and of course for the Hungarian minority of Romania, loves his son Máté very dearly (meanwhile his wife filed for divorce among others because of his extramarital affairs). So much that when a couple of weeks ago the city administration of Oradea imposed a fine of around 700 euros for opening a bar without the neccessary permits, Mr Tőkés took his phone (either in Brussels or in Oradea) and called the local authorities.
The younger Mr Tőkés is also interested in football, being player and head of the club called Partium SC, who plays in the fifth league of Romania (there is no sixth). In their interpretetion, the referees were keeping to discriminate against them, so the father took his EP vice president’s stationery and hand wrote a letter to the Romanian Football Federation, telling them that: ‘As the father of one of the players of Partium SC I am shocked about the incident at the match against Rév. As vice-president of the European Parliament, being responsible among others about sports affairs I consider the behaviour of the three referees that sealed the fate of the game unacceptable. In the European spirit of fair play I ask you to accept the complaint of the president of the Partium SC ragarding the repetition of the game.’
April 10, 2010
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Basically, this is of course a private issue, were it not for her husband, László Tőkés. Tőkés is a well known bishop of the reformed church, and a member of the European Parliament for Romania (he is a member of the Hungarian minority in Transsylvania), and he played an important role in the Romanian revolution in 1989. He is also well known for promoting “traditional family values” — which he seems not to apply to himself, however, if we believe Edit Joó Tőkés, who allegedly has also written a letter to the head of the European Parliament complaining about the lifestyle of her husband, who did not handle discreetly his love affairs in Brussels and Strasbourg. Mrs Tőkés complained that her husband communicated with her and their three children through formal letters, and also required her to keep a record of any money spent – backing her accounts with receipts even for the smallest items. According to Romanian newspapers there was a scandal already in 1999, when Mrs Tőkés caught her husband having sex with his lover on his bishop’s office desk.
In June 2008, Mr Tőkés attacked a Hungarian member of the European Parliament, Mrs Madga Kosáné Kovács in her absence, because a few weeks earlier she informed the parliament about church attempts to interfere in forthcoming legislation extending some rights to gay couples and dared to call the head of the European Commission, Mr Barroso to stand up for the principle of secular state and for European values. Mr Tőkés called Mrs Kosáné Kovács a postcommunist, stated that the true European values are protestant (he used the word ‘keresztyén’ referring to protestant christianism) and suggested the parliament to invite pope Benedict XVI. (It’s not clear if Mr Tőkés knows that Benedict XVI. does not consider his church a true one.)
The Kósáné-Tőkés dispute: Mrs Kósáné Kovács: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+CRE+20080519+ITEM-019+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN&query=INTERV&detail=1-049 and http://www.europarl.europa.eu/wps-europarl-internet/faces/vod/player.jsp?date=20080519 Mr Tőkés: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=CRE&reference=20080616&secondRef=ITEM-018&language=EN and http://www.europarl.europa.eu/wps-europarl-internet/faces/vod/player.jsp?session=last¤tSei=SEI1
As Mrs Kósáné Kovács was absent, her colleague replied, stating that Mr Tőkés’s attack was inappropriate and disgusting: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/wps-europarl-internet/faces/vod/player.jsp?session=last¤tSei=SEI1