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Apr 30, 2020

Coronavirus Update: FM discusses easing restrictions and economic relations with Bavaria

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has held a video conference with Florian Herrmann, the Bavarian minister of federal and European affairs and media.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has held a video conference with Florian Herrmann, the Bavarian minister of federal and European affairs and media.

According to MTI, the foreign minister said that friendly relations with the German federal state were especially important to Hungary in the time of the epidemic. He said Hungary and Bavaria are both focusing on a gradual, “cautious” easing of restrictions introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Minister Szijjártó said the consequences of those steps are unclear, adding that experts were warning of a second wave of the disease. Similarly to Hungary, Bavaria has developed a schedule for easing the restrictions, and is carefully watching developments in Austria, a country where the pandemic hit earlier.

Minister Szijjártó said social distancing and wearing face masks are among the most important measures in Bavaria, adding that this was the case in Hungary, too. The ministers agreed that the virus would pose a challenge in the long term.

During the talks, the ministers also reinforced their pledge to view economic cooperation between their countries as strategic. Minister Szijjártó noted that Bavarian investors such as Audi, Siemens and Korr-Bremse provide 50,000 jobs in Hungary. He welcomed the gradual resumption of production by major players in the car industry, which account for the bulk of Bavarian investments in Hungary.

Minister Szijjártó also called on the European Union to ease regulations on state support for large investments. The European Commission should approve “all kinds of state support” to boost investments, he said. The foreign minister and Herrmann agreed to focus on cooperation in the defense industry and to further strengthen diplomatic ties. The Hungarian consulate in Nuremberg is poised to open as soon as the pandemic situation allows.

A call center set up for advice on the coronavirus can be reached on +36-80-277-455 and +36-80-277-456 or by email koronavirus@bm.gov.hu