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May 28, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

Gergely Gulyás: Epidemiological preparedness remains

“Hungary has managed to control the spread of the virus, and it is one of the few countries where a period of large-scale illness did not occur,” said Gergely Gulyás today at the Government Info briefing. After the summits on Monday and Wednesday, the government discussed the 2021 budget and bills concerning life after the coronavirus.

 

“Epidemiological preparedness remains with us,” Gergely Gulyás stated at the start of today’s Government Info briefing. The Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office added that “the now-submitted law on epidemiological preparedness contains clearly established rules.”

Gulyás emphasized that although there is now a possibility to lift the special legal order [state of emergency], the country must stay prepared. Because of this, many regulations remain in force, such as the separate shopping time for the elderly and the prohibition of holding mass events, especially at indoor venues.

Touching upon the redesigned budget for 2021, the minister said that it will serve “to protect the economy while maintaining epidemiological control,” adding that it is still unknown what impact the epidemic will have on this year’s economic performance, and this will set the framework for next year’s budget. “Not only human bodies but also jobs have been attacked by the virus […], thus it’s important to have a large epidemiological and economic protection fund in our budget as well,” he said.

Regarding the gigantic recovery fund of EUR 750 billion proposed by the European Commission – which would be funded by loans taken out by the EU – Gulyás said that “Joint borrowing is a new phase of integration that has never existed until now; it is worth considering whether we want to move in this direction.” Viktor Orbán is talking with many experts today, and the government will then form an opinion on this move.