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The European Commission has recognised the Hungarian government’s economic achievements, a state secretary of the innovation and technology ministry told a press conference on Tuesday, commenting on the EC’s latest country report.

“Hungary is the EU’s GDP growth champion,” László György said, arguing that Hungary’s growth had come close to 5 percent last year, probably the second best figure in the community. He said that Ireland could have the highest growth, but added that the detailed figures were not yet available.

EC: Hungary’s Growth Rate among Highest in EU

In the 2013-2019 period Hungary’s growth nearly doubled the average European rate, he said, adding that the government continued to aim at a growth rate two percentage points above the EU average in the medium term. He noted that Germany’s economy was stagnating and growth in the euro zone was slowing.

György said that Hungary’s net external debt had been reduced from 52.6 percent of GDP in 2008 to 8.4 percent last year, while the state debt had been reduced to 66.4 percent, by 12 percentage points. The forex share in the state debt has also been reduced from 44.7 percent to 17.4 percent, he said. While the budget deficit was 6.5 percent in 2008, it was 2.1 percent last year, and was expected to fall to 0.8 percent in 2020, the state secretary said.

György called it a “misbelief” that Hungary’s economy could not be growing without EU funds, insisting that Hungary’s economic achievements “are recognised worldwide”.

Featured photo illustration by György Varga/MTI