Economic Development Minister Márton Nagy met Italy’s minister for industry and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, in Budapest on Thursday, according to a ministry statement. Nagy and Urso discussed the economic situation in their respective countries as well as economic policy developments in the European Union, the economic development ministry told MTI.
The ministers also touched on the US Inflation Reduction Act and its negative effects, the statement said. They were in agreement on the need to preserve Europe’s sovereignty and ability to act. Nagy and Urso said the Inflation Reduction Act required firm and quick measures on the part of the European Union and its member states if they were to maintain their competitiveness.
Nagy said a trade war was under way, underlining the danger of the US draining Europe’s industry through a subsidy race, which he said could result in strategic industrial firms relocating to the other side of the Atlantic. The ministers were in agreement that Hungary and Italy needed to strengthen and expand their cooperation in economic policy, and agreed to continue their consultations, the ministry said.
On the heels of the announcement of the planned closure of the Electrolux plant in Nyíregyháza, in eastern Hungary, the government and company management must do their utmost to help workers into new jobs, Sándor Czomba, the state secretary for employment policy of the Ministry of Economic Development, said after visiting the factory on Friday.
The Swedish company’s announcement on Wednesday was “regrettable”, since only a few months ago there were indications of new developments and investments planned at the plant, he said, adding that the news had come as a surprise. Free-standing refrigerators manufactured at the plant were sold mainly in Scandinavian countries, and this market has seen a big contraction, he said. Existing production capacity will be maintained this year by Electrolux, which is retaining its employees until then, Czomba noted.