In his letter – which Bertalan Havasi, the head of the Press Office of the Prime Minister placed at the disposal of the Hungarian news agency MTI – the Prime Minister reassured Mr Karácsony that a proposal for the introduction of more stringent rules for Budapest cannot be tabled by the government without the involvement of the Mayor of Budapest.
Mr Orbán recalled that since the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, the government has operated an operational group under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Sándor Pintér. All information and professional knowledge necessary for the management of the epidemic is gathered by the operational group which makes recommendations to the government and state agencies concerned with public health issues as to what they should and what they should not do, the letter reads.
The Prime Minister wrote that the results of the Operational Group’s work are accessible to everyone, including “the municipality, the capital and the Mayor of Budapest”.
The Prime Minister continues to recommend that Mr Karácsony “forge an appropriate relationship with the government’s operational group”.
In his reply, Mr Orbán wrote that Hungary had won the fight against the first wave of the epidemic, “we have gained extensive experience, and we have tested a number of forms of the fight against the virus”. “We are building our fight against the second wave that is now on our doorstep on these extensive experiences,” the Prime Minister pointed out.
In a letter written to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Thursday, Mr Karácsony suggested the extension of free testing in the interest of curbing the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic. The Mayor of Budapest asked the government to adopt a swift and clear position regarding the extension of free testing and the threat of the spread of infection to the elderly.