At a press conference following the Friends of Cohesion meeting in Beja, Portugal, on Saturday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that “in recent years, Brussels has wrecked Europe’s economic policy, and the results of this will become apparent soon.”
All in all, he stated, the “competitiveness of the European economy has decreased globally, and we will have to pay the price for that.”
“We talked about how to create the next seven-year budget in a way that leads to an increase in people’s welfare through boosting Europe’s economic performance,” PM Orbán said, adding that right now, “we are at the beginning of the debate, [and] positions are still very distant.”
According to the Hungarian premier, the main problem surrounding the upcoming EU budget is that many countries would like to build a “different kind of economy,” one that is not based on free trade [and] the competitiveness of tax reductions. “So,” the PM continued, “we have to first clarify how to get back the ability to compete with the outside world.”
When asked about priorities for regaining competitiveness, Prime Minister Orbán said that “being flexible” is key. “We need a budget that provides as much flexibility as possible for the member states, one that encourages those countries who are ready to cut taxes,” he concluded.