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New Package of Agricultural Measures Announced at the Government Press Briefing

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.04.11.

On Thursday, a government briefing was held, attended by Gergely Gulyás, Minister responsible for the Prime Minister’s office, Eszter Vitályos, the new government spokesperson who replaced Alexandra Szentkirályi, István Nagy, Minister of Agriculture, and Mihály Varga, Minister of Finance.

At the beginning of the press conference, Gergely Gulyás said that the government’s meeting on Tuesday had analyzed the international and political and military situation. “We are at a very dangerous moment, the events of the next six months in world politics will be decisive in terms of whether the world and Europe will move towards war or peace,” he said.

Gergely Gulyás. Photo: MTI/Balogh Zoltán

On the war in Ukraine, he noted that Hungary, as a NATO ally, is seriously concerned about the practical involvement of the international organization in the conflict. He explained that NATO intends to create a USD 100 billion fund to help with military training and coordinate arms supplies. “We joined the alliance because we want to defend each other, not to act together against others, whatever the moral argument behind that,” he stressed.

Package of agricultural measures

Agriculture Minister István Nagy arrived at the cabinet’s briefing with an announcement:

the government has decided on a five-point package of measures to address the situation in European agriculture.

He  said that agricultural products banned for import from Ukraine will be subject to full notification, regardless of their origin. The government has also arranged for the Hungarian State Treasury to complete the payment of area- and animal-based subsidies by May 31, 2024.

István Nagy. Photo: MTI/Balogh Zoltán

He also said that

the government will increase the refundable share of the tax paid annually on diesel used in agriculture to 90 percent.

This could mean another HUF 1 billion (EUR 2.5 million) in additional annual support for the sector, the Minister noted, adding that besides measures to reduce imports and improve the economic situation of producers, support for investment would be strengthened. According to the minister, the intervention is necessary because the market is characterized by serious oversupply and significantly low prices. This is because the European Union decided in summer 2022, that Ukraine will be able to export agricultural products to the EU duty-free and without restrictions.

Economic forecast

“The government expects economic growth of 2.5 percent this year and 4.1 percent next year,” the Minister of Finance announced. Mihály Varga said that the European Union is recovering from the crisis more slowly than expected in a situation of war, the German economy has been weak for a long time, and export markets are also fragile.

As a result, a macroeconomic path is expected for a war situation, with the economy returning to growth this year and GDP growth of around 2.5 percent.

He added that they expect growth to pick up in the second half of this year, which will also help public finances. The Minister said that GDP growth of 4.1 percent next year is reasonable.

Mihály Varga. Photo: MTI/Balogh Zoltán

Gulyás announced at the government briefing that

the cabinet will submit the 2025 budget bill to parliament after November 5.

He said that the government has considered the consequences of a long period of war for the Hungarian economy, since a period of war requires a fundamentally different economic policy than a period of peace.

“Today, we can say that the most important decision for the future will be made by Americans on November 5, and a very different scenario will prevail in terms of war and peace if Donald Trump is President of the United States than if the current administration remains, so we will submit the 2025 budget proposal after November 5,” he said.

The Economy Returns to Growth, Minister of Finance Says
The Economy Returns to Growth, Minister of Finance Says

Th Minister shared great expectations in his speech held at the Ludovika University of Public Service.Continue reading

Via MTI, Featured image: MTI/Balogh Zoltán

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