At today’s Government Info session, Minister Gergely Gulyás said that inflation has reached all-time highs as a result of European sanctions. He noted that while Hungary has not been immune to this, “we may have passed the inflationary peak."
Gergely Gulyás said that figuring out the causes of inflation is necessary in order to “fix it” but added that “the majority of inflation is caused by external factors."
To mitigate these harmful external effects, the minister said the government aims to reach a point where “Hungarian families are paying the least for energy in Europe.”
In order to maintain economic progress, the interest rate freeze for SMEs has been extended, and a factory bailout guarantee and loan program has been launched.
To further bolster economic actors, Gergely Gulyás announced the establishment of a national capital holding scheme, as well as an interest rate and repayment freeze in the agricultural sector.
Student loans are now also subject to the interest rate freeze, he said, adding that given how the current turbulent situation is negatively affecting the general population, the minimum wage has been increased significantly alongside pensions, and the 13th month pension has been reinstated.
As inflation has affected food prices the most, Gergely Gulyás said that the “price freeze on groceries is crucial for the poorest” and reassured that it will be maintained as long as necessary.
Following a question regarding the debate on child protection measures, the minister said that “next year could see a court ruling on the child protection law.”
Minister Gulyás said that while "I will not give up hope that common sense will prevail in Brussels," the government “will not make the amendments to the Child Protection Act dependent on prior EU Court decisions.”
He called out Brussels for Hungary not receiving its funds because “it does not agree on issues such as war, migration and child protection.”
“That is why there is anti-Hungarian sentiment in Brussels,” he continued, calling the freezing of Erasmus funding by the European Commission “an anti-Hungarian revenge.”
According to Minister Gulyás, if these funds were given to all member states, “the EU would be much better off because member states would use them far more efficiently than when Brussels tells them what to spend them on.”
Regarding the recent event of fans from the Ferencváros football club being stopped by German authorities on their way to tonight’s Europa League match in Leverkusen, the minister said that if this was due to security concerns, “the German authorities had the right to stop the train of Fradi supporters,” and they should proceed “according to the rules and without the presumption of guilt.” Minister Gulyás noted however, that, unfortunately, “we’ve had bad experiences two years ago in Germany,” when German authorities “ignored these principles.”
He reiterated that seven consuls are helping to protect the rights of Hungarian fans during the match and that “it is not good for anyone if there are conflicts between fans from allied countries.” Gulyás further asked the public to “wait for the final news” on the issue.