Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó discussed the status of coronavirus-related restrictions with his Austrian, Slovak and Czech counterparts in a videoconference on Wednesday.
Assessing his talks, he said on Facebook that he informed his counterparts of a restart of production by several multinational companies at their plants in Hungary.
He noted that the owners of these companies operate plants in the four Visegrad Group countries in addition to Germany and Austria and for this reason Hungary was ready to draft regulation allowing easier movement for people working for the same company within the region.
As regards school-leaving exams, Szijjártó said
Austria and Slovakia have agreed to exempt from a compulsory home quarantine students returning home to those two countries after taking their exams in Hungary.
He welcomed that Slovakia had abandoned its plan to make the entry of commuters to the country subject to a negative coronavirus test. This will allow Hungarian commuters to continue to freely cross into Slovakia at ten border stations, he said.
Szijjártó said he had asked Austria to reopen to commuters the crossing points at Jánossomorja and Alsószölnök and Slovakia to do the same at Tornanádaska and Létkes.
Minister Szijjártó held a videoconference with Florian Herrmann, the German federal state’s minister of federal and European affairs and media, on Wednesday, and said that friendly relations with Bavaria were especially important to Hungary in the time of the epidemic.
In a video posted on Facebook after the videoconference, Szijjártó said
Hungary and Bavaria are both focusing on a gradual, “cautious” easing of restrictions introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the consequences of those steps are unclear, Szijjártó said, adding that experts were warning of a second wave of the disease.
Similarly to Hungary,
Bavaria has developed a schedule for easing the restrictions,
and is carefully watching developments in Austria, a country where the pandemic hit earlier, Szijjártó said.
Social distancing and wearing face masks are among the most important measures in Bavaria, he said, adding that this was the case in Hungary, too. The ministers agreed that the virus would pose a challenge in the long term.
At the talks, the ministers reinforced their pledge to view economic cooperation between their countries as strategic, Szijjártó said. He noted that
Bavarian investors such as Audi, Siemens and Korr-Bremse provide 50,000 jobs in Hungary.
He welcomed the gradual resumption of production by major players in the car industry, which account for the bulk of Bavarian investments in Hungary.
Szijjártó called on the European Union to ease regulations on state support for large investments. The European Commission should approve “all kinds of state support” to boost investments, he said.
Szijjártó and Herrmann agreed to focus on cooperation in the defence industry and to further strengthen diplomatic ties.
The Hungarian consulate in Nuremberg is poised to open as soon as the pandemic situation allows, he said.