Budapest, August 25 (MTI) – Hungary has embarked on a period of economic growth which could put the country among the fastest-growing European Union member states, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said today.
Addressing the annual meeting of Hungarian mission leaders, Orban said Hungary has ended a four-year period of successful governance, signalled by the country exiting the excessive deficit procedure launched against it by the EU.
He said Hungary was an export-oriented country which warrants a foreign policy focused on the economy.
He asked mission leaders to represent a country with “successful perspectives”, which has reached results using unusual concepts and decisions yet unknown and treated with suspicion in the EU. He said Hungary should not have to defend itself on its position, but rather, diplomats should present the opportunities stemming from the successes delivered in the past.
He said the government did not want to change its policy on work, namely that those who can but won’t work will not get state support. He said this concept was different from the liberal policies known to be harboured by welfare states.
He also said that Hungary was the only country in the EU whose political system had been “thoroughly screened” by the EU for common European values.
Orban stressed the importance of forging ties between foreign and Hungarian businesses. He told mission leaders at their annual meeting in Budapest that they must assist in bringing foreign, job-creating businesses to Hungary as well as finding foreign markets for the exports of local companies.
There are about 2,500 Hungarian small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) capable of exporting at present, but the aim is to raise the number to 12,000, he said. He added that the government’s goal was to raise the proportion of Hungarian exports that go to trading partners outside of the European Union to one-third by 2018 and to one-half later on.
Hungary is among the countries that regard the current situation with Russia as essentially an economic issue, Orban said, responding to a question by Csaba Balogh, Ambassador to Slovakia, on the Russian embargo situation. Orban said the Baltic states and Poland looked at the current conflict as a matter of security policy, but Hungary is more inclined to approach it from the economic angle. The European Union moves further away from Russia day by day which is bad not only for Hungary but the whole EU, he said. Hungary seeks to align itself with EU members who are interested in slowing down this “separation process”, he said, adding that the V4 grouping of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia were not unanimous on this issue.
The three-day meeting of mission leaders started on Monday focuses on exchanges between members of the government and top officials of the foreign ministry, as well as foreign policy and the latest developments in Hungary’s international relations. A review of the past year will be offered as well as an outlook on tasks in the upcoming year, Foreign Minister Tibor Navracsics said earlier.
Answering a question on immigration, Orban said Hungary was free of such problems and follows a “stone-hard” policy which does not support immigration in the least. “Disrupting a homogeneous society is not considered a value”, he said. “If a society reaches a point where able people can claim state support without working, this will result in trouble,” he said. The struggle of welfare states largely stems from this problem, he added.
Photo: MTI – Szilard Koszticsak