Kicking off the interview, PM Orbán underscored the significance of making sure wage growth outpaces inflation, setting a goal of achieving this by year-end. He recognized that while 2023 was dedicated to combatting inflation, 2024 is slated to be a year of economic rejuvenation and growth.
“It's going to be a tough autumn, but the aim is for wage growth to be higher than inflation,” the PM said.
In terms of wages, Viktor Orbán referenced Hungary's transition to a private market economy post-communism, highlighting the struggle that ensued. He reiterated his commitment to supporting wage negotiations between employers and employees and to only intervening when necessary. The prime minister expressed his hope that figures for August will already show wage growth surpassing price hikes.
“The issue of jobs is a priority; our goal is that every Hungarian should have a job because we are talking about a work-based economy. Today 4.8 million people are working, while in 2010, this figure was around 3.6 million,” he added.
Commenting on price increases, PM Orbán attributed some to external factors such as supply disruptions due to the war and sanctions imposed by Brussels. He criticized multinational corporations for unjustifiably inflating prices and pledged to maintain a competitive environment through rigorous oversight by the competition authority.
He said the government had to “show its teeth and claws” to keep global corporations and companies from increasing prices arbitrarily.
On energy security, Orbán emphasized the need for diversifying energy sources and exploring alternate supply routes. He discussed collaborations with countries such as Turkey to ensure a reliable energy supply, especially in the face of geopolitical uncertainties.
The prime minister also celebrated Hungary's successful hosting of the World Athletics Championship, citing the event's contribution to Hungary's positive international image. He also noted the increasing number of cultural and entertainment events taking place in Hungary's modern sports facilities.
PM Orbán lauded Hungary's engagements with Eastern nations and its proactive approach to fostering relationships in the region. He highlighted the benefits from these diplomatic efforts, underlining Hungary's strategic advantage in an evolving global landscape.