Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, said the government had so far spent 600 billion forints (EUR 1.62bn) on protecting Hungary’s southern borders and another 40 billion on taking care of Ukrainian refugees, with 2 pc of the costs reimbursed by the EU.
Hungary has received a further 4 billion forints to provide for migrants crossing into Hungary from the south, Gulyás said, adding that the money was now being spent on refugees arriving from Ukraine. On another subject, Gulyás said that despite the difficulties, Hungary’s economy was on a firm footing.
“Later on the government will decide on [whether to continue] price caps, which have considerably helped to curb inflation,”
he said, noting that without the caps, the rate of inflation would now be 13 percent instead of 8.6 percent.
“In terms of inflation, Hungary is a mid-fielder … comparable to the United States,” he said. He pledged to introduce further government measures to curb inflation, adding that the National Bank of Hungary expected prices to start easing in August or September. Gulyás said Hungary ranked ahead of seven other EU countries in terms of economic development.
He said the country had maintained its investment rate, the second best in Europe, had fewer jobseekers than during the pre-pandemic period, and had 4.7 million job-holders.
Government spokeswoman Alexandra Szentkirályi told the press briefing that Hungarian authorities have so far received more than 17,000 asylum applications submitted by refugees coming from Ukraine and
issued over 100,000 temporary residence permits.
The disaster management authority has arranged to accommodate 10,000 refugees, while charities are catering to another 20,000, she said. The five humanitarian aid centres set up at the Hungarian-Ukrainian border have so far served over 300,000 people, Szentkirályi added.