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Oct 04, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán: We have had enough of the virus, but the virus hasn’t had enough of us

In an exclusive interview this morning with Kossuth Rádió, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán spoke about the coronavirus situation in Hungary, the next steps of the defense, doctors’ wage increases, rule of law and the EU’s economic relief package.

“We made it through a tough period, but we have an even tougher one ahead of us, as the virus is more infectious than before,” PM Orbán said kicking off his interview on public radio this morning. When asked about whether Hungary will be able to keep up with this new wave of the coronavirus pandemic, his answer was a resounding “Yes, we will.”

“We have had enough of the virus, but the virus hasn’t had enough of us,” the PM noted, adding that as long as there is no vaccine, “the defense against the virus will play the most prominent role.” Revealing details of official forecasts, PM Orbán said that at the peak of the crisis, estimates call for 200,000 confirmed cases in Hungary. This means that roughly 16,000 hospital beds and a maximum of 1,000 ventilators would be required.

However, in its calculations, the prime minister said, “the government has doubled these numbers and we are preparing to have enough capacity even if the numbers increase beyond this.”

Speaking about the government’s recent decision to dramatically increase doctors’ wages, Prime Minister Orbán said that this was a “historical debt.” Still, he added that even within the government, there was a debate as to whether or not this step should be taken in the current, more challenging economic environment.

On EU concerns about the rule of law in Central Europe following the recent EU summit in Brussels, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that he could see a “pattern emerging.” The Visegrád Group, however, strongly opposes the Commission’s latest migration plans; we propose that the only thing we should be concerned about right now is how to perfect our defenses against the virus.

“The Hungarian proposal suggests that if we don’t manage to find common ground within the framework of European institutions, then it is possible to come to an agreement via intergovernmental, bilateral deals,” the PM concluded.