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Coronavirus – Gulyás Confident Govt’s Measures Enough to Cover Costs of Epidemic Response

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.04.05.

Measures the government is to introduce will be sufficient for covering the costs of the response to the novel coronavirus epidemic and restarting Hungary’s economy as soon as possible, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office said on Sunday.

Prevention against the epidemic mandates the mobilisation of vast resources in the central budget and requires strong cooperation across the country, Gergely Gulyás told pro-govt public Kossuth Rádió.

As regards prevention, Gulyás noted the special coronavirus response funds set up by the government.

The largest sum, 922 billion forints, will be diverted from the ministries, but additional contributions by political parties and local governments are also needed, Gulyás said.

“But we also expect participation from sectors that normally contribute to the country’s economic growth and make significant profits,” Gulyás said, adding that contribution to the fund was also expected from multinational retail chains and banks.

The epidemic response fund currently has a volume of 663 billion forints and no upper limit of spending, he said, adding that the fund aimed at restarting the economy was worth 1,345 billion forints (EUR 3,7 billion).

The measures will further aim to help people who may lose their jobs, Gulyás said, adding that preserving jobs and creating new ones was the most important goal.

The number of job-seekers has gone up by 30,000, he said, citing statistics. The fact that the number of vacancies dropped to below 50,000 from the previous 70,000, however, illustrates well that the situation is worse than that, Gulyás said, adding that the economy has been losing 4,000 jobs a day since the beginning of April.

In the current crisis situation the government would welcome some form of national unity and political cooperation, Gulyás said, asking the opposition to suspend their “political battles”.

“Let’s put aside political conflicts and let everyone do their utmost to prevent the spread of the epidemic as much as possible,” he said.