Hungary PM makes financial announcement

The Hungarian government will allocate nearly HUF 300 billion (approx 738 million euros) to the Szechenyi Card Program in 2023, Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced.

ECONOMY POLITICS NOVEMBER 29. 2022 15:00

“There is no success without self-respect, this is true not only for businesses, but also for countries,” the Hungarian prime minister said at the ceremony held in Budapest on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Szechenyi Card Program. He pointed out that at least 75 per cent of the country is rural, which is why Hungary cannot be successful without large-scale foreign investments, but there must always be a broad, strong, Hungarian entrepreneurial class. In his view, these foreign companies can be counterbalanced in number by domestic enterprises.

This year, the government will support the Szechenyi Card Program with HUF 130 billion (approx 320 million euros), and next year with HUF 290 billion (approx 714 million euros). At the same time, PM Orban also indicated that the government has not decided to do this out of sheer good will, the move is justified by the interest rates.

Mr Orban also spoke about the economic situation. He maintains that the government was right about the economic effects of the sanctions. At the same time, despite this situation, we can be happy that we can stay out of the recession, inflation can be in the single digits next year, and families can be protected from challenges.

“I never believed that the market was sacred and inviolable,”

he said, adding that it is absolutely not the case that there is an invisible hand behind the market. Such a hand may be present in consolidated times, but certainly not in crisis situations, Mr Orban said, which is why state intervention was necessary during the financial crisis, the coronavirus epidemic, and now during the sanctions-driven inflation, he added. “This invisible hand is now smacking so hard that we go flying into the opposite wall,” he said, adding that the economy cannot function well if there are no frameworks ensured by the state.

“We are in an energy crisis that threatens the entire European industry with rapid decline,”

Viktor Orban said, noting that Europe’s growth potential is also rapidly decreasing and a new economic model may be needed sooner or later. The Hungarian premier said that they are now working on the amending of next year’s budget, as a lot has happened since its adoption. As the prime minister sees it, “we cannot count on others, and so we must build our own lifeboat for Hungary’s economy in order to sustain the operational capability of Hungarian companies and to protect families”.

“The good news is that between 2015 and 2021, we were able to regularly exceed the EU’s growth by more than its double, but the bad news is that inflation, interest rates, and the energy issue are affecting us in the same way,”

PM Orban said. Regarding the energy issue, he noted that the government gives 180 thousand forints to an average family each month, this is how much higher energy bills would be for every family, if the cabinet did not lend help to Hungarians.

The opportunity for the bottom four deciles to join the middle class was the biggest gain in the past 12 years, he opined.

At the same time, he added, “if we cannot protect families, the opportunities for these social groups will be lost. Therefore, the imperative of extending support is the starting point of next year’s budget,” PM Orban said in his speech, as reported by the Hungarian Vilaggazdasag newspaper.

ECONOMY POLITICS

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economy, hungarian prime minister, Hungary, viktor orban