Those “inciting against” plans to build battery plants “serve the interests of other countries”, the minister of foreign affairs and trade said on Monday, and insisted that the planned factories were instrumental in saving jobs and meeting environmental goals.
The foreign ministry quoted Péter Szijjártó as saying at the launching ceremony of a 15 billion forint (EUR 38.5m) investment project by Nippon Paper Industries in Vácrátót, north of Budapest, that the Hungarian state was contributing 2.3 billion forints to the scheme which would create 60 jobs. “Cellulose making is one of the most environment-friendly technologies possible,” he said.
The minister said the European economy was suffering from the war in Ukraine and related “ill-advised sanctions”, but added that all those “would be no sufficient reason to give up the strategic objectives of protecting the environment and securing jobs”. Hungary has had significant achievements in both areas despite a difficult economic situation in Europe, “which was only possible through electric car projects”, he added. The electric car industry provides a guarantee for economic growth and jobs for decades, he insisted.
He said those protesting against battery making in Hungary “will jeopardise tens of thousands of jobs and want to achieve that those jobs should be created in other countries”. He also insisted that “there are no electric cars without batteries… and the environmental goals could not be met without transforming transport”.
Hungary is currently the world’s fourth biggest producer of batteries, with batteries being a leading export product in the past two years, Szijjártó said. In the past six years, battery production related investments worth a combined 7,000 billion forints were made in more 20 localities in Hungary.
Opposition LMP said in response that “the government is serving foreign interests” by representing the interests of the battery plants against the Hungarian people’s. “Those serve foreign interests who damage Hungary’s water resources, arable land and the environment for the multinationals’ profits, and even support them with tax allowances and subsidies,” spokesman József Gál told a press conference. He called on Szijjártó to attend public forums in Debrecen, Fót or Nyíregyháza to get personal experience of the public’s dissatisfaction. The battery makers are setting up plants in Hungary because they can pay less to workers, and they do not have to abide by environmental protection regulations and respect workers’ rights, he said.
Why would anyone object to a company moving into the country and providing high paying jobs for the people? Do people do not realize that the government will take all steps to make the production safe without adverse effects. There are many people who must hate the country to incite people for no good reason.
God Almighty, give me a break already!
Those “activists” serve no-one except themselves, they are the people in whose backyards those battery plants are going to be built – If Orbán wants it Orbán will get it!
If the Orbán Government is so dead-set on having them built in Hungary, why not build them where no-one would oppose (?!) it, in FELCSÚT?!
mariavontheresa again makes a statement that is full of all out lies. Nobody hates the country, maria my dear, they love the country and want to live in a safe environment, not one that the “government will take all steps to make safe”, just like the Samsung factory, no dear? We will not see the affects of the pollution for years. Last year we had a draught, but now instead of using the water for food, we will use it to produce batteries. Good tradeoff maria, really smart move!