Commenting on the weakening of the national currency to record low levels of 360-370 against the euro, Gulyaás said it was because the forint had come under “a strong speculative attack” which the National Bank of Hungary had “handled excellently”.
“The Hungarian economy is currently in a state that does not warrant the current exchange rate,” Gulyás said, projecting the rate to move back to previous levels.
Asked about the withdrawal of part of a bill that would have stripped some powers from local mayors in a state of emergency, Gulyás said the reasoning behind the government’s decision was that it aimed to ensure the broadest possible national unity and political alignment concerning the response to the epidemic without any political debates.
As regards other legislation in connection with the response to the virus, Gulyás said it affected many areas, adding, however that the government will submit amendments according to the ordinary legislative rules.
“Allegations that the government would want to shut down parliament are false; on the contrary, it wants parliament to operate in an orderly manner and is therefore asking every lawmaker to also perform their duties in an as orderly fashion as possible under the current circumstances,” he said.
Asked about any foreign visits planned for the prime minister, Gulyás said Viktor Orbán participates in European Council meetings via video conferences and is otherwise devoting all of his energy to the epidemic response efforts. He is otherwise in perfect health, Gulyás added.
Gulyás was also asked about “the new series of attacks coming from the EU” against the Hungarian government, the “cross-fire” it faced over its coronavirus protection measures and pledges to invoke the EU’s Article 7 procedure over the state of the rule of law in the country.
He said the prime minister had given an appropriate response to these in saying that “we are preoccupied with our own protection efforts while Brussels is preoccupied with us”.
The Hungarian epidemic response law fulfils the criteria of the rule of law in every aspect,” Gulyás said. He said European press reports contained “countless lies” in connection with the law to the extreme that “went far beyond” any previous instances.