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Hungarian academy demands its budget is returned

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences has called on Hungary’s innovation minister to give it back control over the budget of its network of research institutes—at least for the first quarter of 2019.

Innovation minister László Palkovics declined to attend a meeting of the academy’s general assembly on 6 December, instead sending a letter explaining that his absence was due to his view that the restructuring of the academy’s research networks was of no relevance to the assembly.

Since initiating the restructuring—ostensibly to make the network more innovative—the ministry has blocked the academy’s access to its own budget. Palkovics said in his letter that he would “guarantee the salaries for the workers in research institutes until the new structure and financing model is started”. Institutional running costs and research funding, however, have been halted, according to  academy president László Lovász.

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