05/02/2019 17:12

Government to Bleed Out Academy of Sciences Says Opposition MP Group

Government policy against the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), aimed at bleeding out the public body, is unacceptable, said a group of opposition members Mps a joint press conference in Budapest on Monday.
The opposition representatives tried to convene the Cultural Committee of the National Assembly on a joint initiative to discuss the situation of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, but the majority of the committee's government members refused to do so, said representative of the Democratic Coalition (DK) Zsolt Gréczy.
The politician added that Viktor Orbán had entrusted Minister of Innovation and Technology László Palkovics with bleeding the Hungarian Academy of Sciences out and the destruction of the Academy’s research institutes. According to the representative, MTA is currently losing its independence and its international relations while scientific workshops are being destroyed.
At the press conference, Balázs Ander (Jobbik) emphasized that government policy towards MTA is a good indication of the anti-intelligentsia and anti-science approach of Fidesz. In the public sphere, the value of research and development funds has been reduced to less than half since 2010, the politician stressed.
According to Ágnes Kunhalmi (MSZP), MTA is completely dependent on and exposed to the fact that more than half of its resources are allocated to the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM). Fidesz, in all areas where they want to expand their control or wish to obstruct the operation of their opponents, simply withdraw funding, and this is what is happening to MTA now, as well, he added.
Ágnes Kunhalmi also emphasized that it is worrying that the government will judge research project solely on the basis of their direct utility, thus pushing back fundamental research against applied research. According to MSZP, the two areas should be financed in the same proportion.
Independent Member of Parliament Szabolcs Szabó said: László Palkovics broke the ministerial oath and also breeched the law by withdrawing most funds from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences without substantive consultation.