BUDAPEST, Feb 20, 2000 -- (Reuters) Here are highlights of stories reported by Hungary's press, based on information by Nepszabadsag's Hungary Around the Clock service.
DOMESTIC POLITICS, GENERAL NEWS
- EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom agreed with Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi in Budapest that the European Commission would provide expertise and examine ways of contributing financial aid to help rehabilitate the Tisza river.
- The health insurance fund will no longer subsidize abortions, under a motion for amendment to be submitted to the cabinet next week.
- Police have initiated proceedings after jars of herring were thrown at the Romanian embassy Wednesday night, smashing several windows.
- April 2, the date on which Gyor-bishop Vilmos Apor died a martyr's death in 1945 while protecting women from Russian soldiers, is an appropriate occasion for high schools to commemorate the victims of communism, Education Minister Zoltan Pokorni said Thursday.
- The government will open wage negotiations on Monday with the Union Co-operation Forum (SZEF), the major representative of public sector workers.
- Preparations are being made to merge Magyar Nemzet and Napi Magyarorszag. The combined circulation of the two conservative dailies is less than 100,000 and they tend to compete for the same audience.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE
- The National Bank of Hungary reduced its three key interest rates by 50 basis points each.
- The financial assets of households rose by almost Ft 40 billion to Ft 5,155.8 billion in January, according to the National Bank of Hungary.
- The volume of retail turnover rose 7.7 percent last year, the Central Statistical Office said on Thursday.
- Slovenia announced on Thursday that it would introduce supplementary customs duty on live cattle from Hungary to protect its domestic market.
- Dairy processor MiZo Baranyatej has withdrawn its appeal against the decision by the Baranya County Court to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against the company. This means that MiZo could go into receivership as early as Friday, with the company being run by the appointed receiver, Vectigalis Rt.
- Privatization agency APV Rt will propose an adjournment of the February 23 EGM of K&H Bank, as soon as the meeting opens.
- Standardized options trading is starting today on the Budapest Stock Exchange.