By: V4 Agency
The vaccine is working and Hungary is working, said Hungarian PM Viktor Orban in his parliamentary address ahead of the scheduled agenda. The prime minister made a number of important announcements regarding the restarting of the economy and Brussels betraying Europe with its approach to migration.
The vaccine is working, Hungary is working
The vaccine is working and Hungary is working, Hungary’s prime minister told the opening session of the National Assembly’s autumn term on Monday. In his address ahead of the scheduled agenda, PM Orban emphasized that the Hungarian economy had taken off, and, according to second-quarter data, gross domestic product had grown by 17.9 per cent, the largest increase ever.
The performance of the Hungarian economy is already exceeding pre-pandemic levels, while in most EU countries this hasn’t materialised yet, he pointed out.
The strength of restarting the economy is aptly illustrated by the fact that exports of services in euros have risen by 21 per cent, while investment and foreign trade rose by by 10.8 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, compared to the same period last year. Mr Orban stressed his confidence in the government being able to push growth to above 5.5 per cent this year.
He added that the number of those employed exceeded 4.7 million in July, an employment figure not seen in Hungary since the regime change.
Nearly one million new jobs have been created in eleven years. We are an inch away from full employment, as the economy is starting to witness more of a labour shortage, Mr Orban said.
PM Orban also spoke about the National Consultation on life after the pandemic. Since 2010, the Hungarian government has regularly consulted Hungarians on key issues affecting them. The government has made the following decisions based on the responses of the 1.4 million people who returned the completed questionnaires in the last consultation:
– The loan repayment moratorium will be extended for those in need
– All personal income tax will be refunded to families raising children. This affects 1 million 900 thousand parents
– Small business owners and small sole proprietors raising children will be refunded 25% of their paid taxes
– The gradual re-establishment of the so-called 13th-month (bonus) pension continues. The amount of the pension premium may exceed 50 thousand forints (approx. 140 euros)
– Law enforcement officers will receive a six months’ gun allowance
– From January, young employees will enjoy full personal income tax relief
– The goal is to raise the minimum wage to 200,000 forints (565 euros), for which there is a good chance based on the negotiations.
Another wave of migrants expected
Hungary’s premier also spoke about the mission in Afghanistan, in which Hungary took part at the request of the United States and which ended at the end of the summer. In hindsight, it now seems obvious that the US has misjudged the situation. The current situation is the result of many wrong decisions, and it may trigger another migrant wave heading for Europe.
Mr Orban said that instead of bringing migrants into Europe, we should take our help there. Hungary’s state borders must also be strengthened, because many want to reach the EU via Hungary, he added. He pointed out that the migrants are supported by NGOs linked to George Soros, and that the signs are clear as the number of illegal border violators and people smugglers has tripled, compared to last year. We must not indulge ourselves in any illusions.
Mr Orban underlined that Brussels and Berlin continues to regularly “backstab Hungary” for its defence against migration, adding however that “we won’t give in and we’ll protect the borders even despite the political pressure.” He said what Brussels is doing is betrayal, the betrayal of Europe. He added that the debate on migration is tearing Europe’s unity apart. “Therefore Brussels should return all competences linked to migration to the member states, “ the Hungarian PM opined.
Brussels attacked Hungary, because we do not allow any sexual propaganda to seep into our public education and media, Mr Orban said, adding that the Commission has launched an infringement procedure against Hungary.
Regarding the EU recovery loan fund, Mr Orban said Brussels has still failed to reach an agreement with eight of the member states, which this is a gross violation of the principle of fair competition, one of the EU’s core values.
Hungary demands that the Commission stop discriminating against the member states, he stressed, adding that Hungary must not be put in competitive disadvantage compared to other member states. Therefore, the government will launch its planned programs and advance the earmarked funds using available sources from the budget and the international money market.