Abolition of Law on Priority Investments Called for by Hungarian Opposition LMP

  • 4 Dec 2023 7:08 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Abolition of Law on Priority Investments Called for by Hungarian Opposition LMP
Opposition LMP has called for the abolition of the law on priority investments, arguing that the regulation allowed the government to bypass rules when licensing major investments.

The Kuria, Hungary’s supreme court, recently approved LMP’s referendum initiative on the matter, Máté Kanász-Nagy, the party’s deputy group leader, told a press briefing.

He called the law on priority investments “the law of lawlessness”. It allowed the government to launch big investments anywhere in the country, he said, “ignoring the rules, the interests of the community, as well as local opinions and decisions”.

By scrapping the law, LMP wants to return the right to municipalities to have a say over — or even veto — an investment if they feel it would have an adverse impact on the lives of their residents, Kanász-Nagy said.

Gov't Abuses 'Priority Investment' Legal Category, Claims Hungarian Opposition LMP

The introduction of a legal category for priority investment in the national economy has been harmful because the government has been abusing it, an opposition LMP national board member said.

Mária Szendefy told a press conference that the legal regulation enabling projects to be classified as priority investment should be void. In its current form it did not serve the public interest, she said, adding a new law could be introduced to achieve the intended goal.

Szendefy said that the Kúria, the supreme court, had recently approved LMP’s initiative for an referendum to be held on withdrawing the law introducing the category of priority investment in the national economy.

If the constitutional court does not prevent it, the collection of signatures necessary for holding a referendum could be started within weeks, she added. In her criticism of the law, she cited a tourism development project near Lake Fertő as an example.

The government declared it a priority investment in 2018 and even though the “mad plan” could not be fully implemented as a result of financial constraints, the locals could not use the lakeshore for years, “the natural habitat was practically destroyed on an area of nearly sixty hectares”, and many of the iconic hay-roofed huts were destroyed, she said.

It was only recently revealed that the local government office had issued its environmental permit for the original plan, and so it is currently not known what exactly will come out of the project, she added.

Related links

Greenpeace Hungary Welcomes Lake Fertő Resort Project Losing Environmental Permit

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