Addressing a forum of leading German companies in Berlin on Wednesday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said 2018 would be a critical year for Europe, stressing that the continent had to save the Schengen system if it was to retain or boost its competitiveness.
“Central Europe has serious disadvantages to overcome in terms of infrastructure; there is still a lot to be done in this area,” Orbán was quoted as saying by Bertalan Havasi, his press chief, at the Welt-Wirtschaftsgipfel forum. “If the European Union cannot provide financial support, we will turn to China,” Orbán said.
He said the Visegrád Group of nations comprising the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia was showing dynamic growth and would catch up to the more prosperous western countries by 2030
and become, along with Germany, the biggest net contributors to the EU’s budget.
On the topic of migration, Orbán said that in 2018, EU member states must enforce the will of their people and underlined the importance of protecting the bloc’s external borders.
Havasi said that the companies taking part in the forum have a combined annual turnover of nearly 800 billion euros, and employ around three million people.
featured image: MTI