The leaders of Hungarian economic policy: Finance Minister Mihály Varga, Minister of Economic Development Márton Nagy and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán hold the traditional annual opening of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday. In this article, you can find the most important parts of the PM’s and the ministers’ speeches.
The Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) reported on Wednesday that inflation stood at 25.4 percent, a marginal improvement on February’s 25.7 percent. Orbán promised in his annual assessment that inflation would be in single digits by the end of the year, hvg.hu writes.
Find our related article HERE.
According to the traditional line-up of the Chamber’s annual opening ceremony, György Matolcsy, President of the Hungarian central bank, should also speak today. However, this year for the second time, Matolcsy will not be attending the opening ceremony. This could be a sign of the tension between the government and the central bank, mainly over the management of inflation.
Matolcsy last sharply criticised the government’s policy in Parliament on Wednesday. Read our related article HERE.
The government supports investments from East Asia, but says cultural differences need to be highlighted. Chamber President László Parragh spoke of the tight labour market and reiterated the importance of a skilled workforce. He fears that the EU funds that would have come to Hungary would go to Ukraine’s development. This is an argument that the government also made a few months ago when it came to supporting Ukraine.
We have a huge exposure to war, because we are strongly attached to both sides, the government says. We must not forget our geopolitical situation, stresses Parragh. It is in the vital interest of the Hungarian economy to have peace, he stresses. He added that the war has shattered the arc of Hungarian growth.
This statement was made by Márton Nagy, Minister for Economic Development. Hungary could reach 90 percent of EU development by 2030, which would put it in 15th place compared to the current 20. The basis for this is investment, and he said that an investment rate of 30 percent of GDP is desirable.
PM Viktor Orbán began by saying that after two of his ministers had spoken, he was reassured that everything was fine. He pointed out that usually in an election year (2022 in this case), both the public debt and the deficit increase, but this was not the case here.
“You will have noticed that the focus of the 2022-2026 government is on the economy,” Orbán stressed. The structure of the government had to be changed in a very short time because of the sanctions, he recalled, explaining why they changed their usual practice by creating a ministry of energy. He says that since then, the quality of the measures has improved.
Orbán stressed that without market funding we cannot achieve our goals – “the government has not become socialist or communist,” he said. Sometimes forms of support have to be launched, but this is not to crowd out market financing. “We are only intervening because market funding is not available, this is crisis management, not a change of direction”.
Europe’s power structure is being reshuffled, it is not just a war. And it is even possible that this is why the war was started, says Orbán. He points out that the economic structure (cheap Russian energy is the strength of the western, Franco-German industrial axis) will change if Europe is decoupled from Russian energy. New dependencies will emerge. What sounded absurd a year ago – for example, that Ukraine could be a candidate for EU membership – is now reality. The same is true of NATO membership.
Hungarian foreign policy needs to think a lot about the type of relationship it should maintain with Russia. No one can answer whether this will be successful, Orbán says.
The Western world is giving EUR 55 billion to keep the Kyiv government viable. This may go on this year, but what about next year? asks Orbán. He also believes that some of the EU money for Hungarians could end up in Ukraine.
It is true that the competitive advantage of Hungarian universities is now being taken away, Orbán said. He was referring to the EU’s refusal to allow universities to be “directly linked” to the government through the foundations that maintain them. In his view, the EU is depriving the institutions of a competitive advantage. “Therefore, if we cannot reach an agreement with the EU – although I think we will – we will provide these scholarships and research funds from public funds,” Orbán promises.
If Hungary were not such an open economy, such a standard of living would not be possible, Orbán says. He promises: we will stay out of war. We will continue to successfully veto sanctions if they harm Hungarian interests, we will maintain Russian energy supplies, and we will keep our reduced prices.
Pretty wild when our Politicians keep on criticizing the EU and it’s Brussels Bureaucrats, Liberal Elites, Soros Lapdogs – and then proceed to reiterate that they have to invest in Hungary.
If you analyze Hungarian GDP growth over the years and the level of EU funding, it’s pretty clear where a lot of the “growth” actually came from. Our Politicians are more than happy to claim credit for the EU money received, though.
GDP Growth in Hungary a “mean” of 9% realized from Tourism, for the better part of the last decade, is an interesting exercise to investigate.
Compared to countless “other” country’s – the 9% of GDP was Massive.
Post February 2020, the on-set of the Russian War on the Ukraine, its ALL but CRUMBLED.
Hungary – is “Light Years” away from seeing a return of its GDP from Tourism, returning to a 9%.
Most of the investment comes europe Asian And US- lucky to find Hungarian business, most the EU members refuse to pay there NATO 2% of GDP going on 40 years. Hungary would be better off without the unelected war lordes- Do as say or we wll take your candy money away. This at the same time that can’t wait to have Ukraine a member, Blackrock and other big money are already in talks with big Z to rebuild the country.