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Jun 04, 2020

FM: Job creation hinges on new investments

The foreign minister has renewed calls for the European Union to remove its restrictions on state investment subsidies.

 

The foreign minister has renewed calls for the European Union to remove its restrictions on state investment subsidies.

Following a video conference including the Visegrad Group plus the Nordic-Baltic Eight group of countries, Péter Szijjártó said that job creation hinged on new investments. With a view to saving jobs, the Hungarian government has supported 806 Hungarian companies from a fund of HUF 170 billion (EUR 491m) while staying below the EU’s cap of 800,000 euros per project, he said, calling for the cap to be removed before the year-end.

The minister said member states should be allowed to freely finance projects from their national budget, adding that saving jobs and creating new ones should be the focus of European policymaking.

Touching upon the coronavirus crisis, Minister Szijjártó said that European countries had been “in a vulnerable position” when “everybody was queuing up” to buy medical equipment from China. He said this should be borne in mind when shaping Europe’s China policy. “Cooperation must be pragmatic and mutual,” he said, adding that applying double standards, whereby big countries benefit from cooperation with China at the expense of small countries, should be avoided.