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Jun 12, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán: Epidemiological preparedness must be maintained, without an extraordinary legal order

In his regular Friday morning interview on Kossuth Rádió, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán talked about the upcoming steps for Hungary’s continued defense against the virus, the state of the economy and his view on the EU’s plan to take on loans via perpetual bonds.

Speaking about ending the extraordinary legal order, currently in force due to the coronavirus epidemic, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in his regular Friday morning interview on Kossuth Rádió that “law and reality will now be separated,” as the Hungarian Parliament is expected to lift the government’s special powers.

While the extraordinary order will be removed, epidemiological preparedness must be maintained, the PM said. “We will maintain the functioning of the Operational Group and create an immediate response unit within it. As long as we don’t have a vaccine, as long as we can’t kill it with a vaccine, the virus will stay with us,” the prime minister said.

According to PM Orbán, Hungary’s efficient response to the coronavirus pandemic shows that the combination of public discipline, dedication, obeying the rules, quick government decisions, and committed doctors and nurses is worth more than money; this is why we have won the first battle. “We have saved the lives of many thousands of elderly people, and now we shouldn’t, irresponsibly, put them at risk,” the PM said.

Touching upon the topic of economic recovery, the prime minister said that every other day, he browses through reports on the efficiency of the economic protection measures currently in force. “There are one million jobs that would have disappeared without government intervention,” he said, adding that job creation is key because the government does not want to provide aid; instead, it aims to preserve jobs and enable people to make a living for themselves and their families.

“In the next one and a half years, there will be a direct correlation between the government’s performance and the state of the economy. We are in a period of economic protection,” Prime Minister Orbán said. If the government does its job well, he continued, we will reach “fantastic results,” but if it does not, then we won’t succeed.

On the 2021 national budget, Prime Minister Orbán said that it’s going to be a budget of economic protection and defense against the epidemic. “In 2010, we managed to remedy a tough crisis,” the PM said, adding that besides the proven measures taken back then, the government also introduced new steps, including the moratorium on loan repayments.

Regarding the EU’s plan to take on loans through perpetual bonds, PM Orbán said, “First, money has to be earned; only then can we spend it.” He added that we should not put others in a risky position. “The EU proposal is completely opposite to this logic. The crisis, however, is very serious in a number of EU member states, so we need some common resolution,” the PM said in closing.