Hungary’s last ten years were the country’s most successful decade in the last 100 years, “and the next ten years could be even better”, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a radio interview on Sunday.
“We are at the gate of great times,” the prime minister told public broadcaster Kossuth Radio, adding that 2021 could already be a “fantastic year” even if its first months still seem “miserable” due to the restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will transition to an upward trajectory incredibly quickly,” Orbán said about the Hungarian economy. The global economy, too, could embark on a previously unforeseen level of growth, which Hungary will have to outpace, he added. Orbán said the Hungarian economy was on the verge of a paradigm shift “that right now only a few understand”.
Hungary is poised to become a digitalised circular economy that will be capable of processing its own waste, he said. The country will reduce its carbon emissions “to radically low levels”, it will have full employment and “a growth rate noticeably higher than the western half of the European Union”, he added.
The people will prosper as well; they will live in larger homes and have more children, Orbán said.
He said that by the end of the decade, the repatriated profits of Hungarian businesses investing abroad would have to equal the profits foreign businesses take out of the country.
Orbán said that unlike the political left, he did not believe in raising taxes during an economic crisis period.
Governments and local councils should cut taxes in a time of crisis and banks, too, should get involved by extending the moratorium on loan repayments, Orbán said.
He said not all local councils understood the importance of cutting taxes, but added that businesses would only be capable of hiring more people if their public burdens are reduced. Businesses should be put in a position in which they can hire as many people as possible, the prime minister said.
Orbán said his government had been successful in saving jobs during the first and also the second wave of the pandemic, noting that there were only 60,000 fewer employed than a year ago prior to the outbreak of the pandemic. Hungary trails only the Czech Republic and Germany when it comes to unemployment, he added.
The prime minister said it was also important that Hungary had been able to carry on with its family support and home creation programmes and the reintroduction of the 13th month pension.
Featured photo illustration by Balázs Mohai/MTI