Starting his interview this morning, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that during the first wave of the coronavirus, very important steps had to be taken in just one week, and the country passed the exam very well.
“During the first wave, everyone was disciplined. For the second wave, it was important to know what people would accept,” he said adding that “The national consultation made it possible to reach a consensus. People want Hungary to continue to function.”
Regarding the upcoming measures, PM Orbán said that “epidemiological and economic measures will be announced step by step; now, the functioning of Hungary must be protected, as the virus cannot be allowed to paralyze the country.”
The prime minister explained that to achieve this, “the Hungarian government has a war plan for what needs to be done, translated into practical steps.” The results of this plan can already be seen, as more people are working now than in January this year. The various measures implemented by the government have made it possible to prevent a collapse in tourism and for domestic tourism — except in the capital of Budapest — to reach record numbers.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán further announced that in the coming two to three weeks, there will be active communication about the new measures. “We want wage increases and investments,” he said.
He added that “the budget deficit does not look good; the original plan was to keep the deficit low compared to other EU countries, but this cannot be maintained in the current situation. However, this deficit can be financed with government retail bonds; there is demand for these bonds.”
“Confidence in the Hungarian economy is strong, and if there is trust, there is money,” Viktor Orbán emphasized.
He also made it clear that there will not be a general restriction in education. First, infected students and their contacts should be sent home, and only if the situation worsens, should classes be suspended. “Parents having to stay home to teach their kids is a situation that should be avoided,” the prime minister said, adding that school closures will be on an individual basis, meaning there will be no general school closures.
The most important thing still is to protect the elderly, and “for their benefit, hospitals and nursing homes are banned from allowing visitors; and this will be enforced by the police,” PM Orbán emphasized.
Finally, touching upon the upcoming V4 meeting today, the prime minister recalled that “close links have been established with countries in the region, and this will now be applied to epidemiological rules.”
“It is necessary to exchange information. In a time of pan-European trouble, a safe island in Central Europe can be created,” he said.