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Oct 22, 2019

PM Orbán addresses parliament’s opening session

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán addressed parliament’s opening session on Monday and said the government’s family protection action plan was gaining momentum, with more than 65,000 people having joined the scheme.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán addressed parliament’s opening session on Monday and said the government’s family protection action plan was gaining momentum, with more than 65,000 people having joined the scheme.

The Prime Minister highlighted that HUF 650 billion (EUR 1.96bn) of funding has been channelled towards families. He added that the economy has responded positively to this policy, recording growth of 5.2 percent in the first half of the year.

“We switched to a job-based economy and the unemployment rate has dropped to 3.4 percent, while the number of jobs has increased by 808,000 since 2010,” he said, adding that 4.5 million people have jobs in the country. He said nevertheless the government “wants more and better”, and intends to catch up with the Czech Republic in this regard.

PM Orbán said that in the first seven months of the year average wages had increased by 10.6 percent, while the rise in the minimum wage was the fourth highest in the EU.

The Prime Minsiter also noted big changes in government debt, which has fallen to 68 percent to GDP. And whereas in 2010 foreign currency loans accounted for 50 percent of the total, today they stand below 20 percent, he added.

Regarding the EU, PM Orbán said the incoming president of the European Commission was someone who could remedy the mistakes of previous years. He said he had felt obliged to prevent the election of a commission head who spoke disrespectfully of Hungarians, and who wanted to implement plans contrary to the will of Hungarians on migration. “We have achieved our goal,” he said.

On the topic of Brexit, PM Orbán said “a fair and just agreement” for the British had been made for their departure from the bloc. Also, an agreement had been struck that would protect the interests of Hungarians working in Britain.

Finally, the Prime Minister said Hungary’s economy could be made carbon neutral by 2050 by implementing radical schemes but “a significant contribution” from the European Union would be needed. A combined 150 billion euros will be needed to make Hungary’s energy production emissions free, to eliminate natural gas and to replace all traditional vehicles with electric ones, he said.