Gulyás: 2024 goal is to return to normal fiscal management

Gergely Gulyás said last year both the deficit and the public debt narrowed and the aim is to achieve the same this year.

Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Prime Minister's Office, said last year, both the deficit and the public debt narrowed, adding that the goal was to achieve the same again this year and return to normal fiscal management, which, he added, had always characterised the Fidesz government in the absence of an external crisis. Even the war taking place in Ukraine no longer had such a harsh and direct effect as it had done last year.

In response to a question on a possible EU probe into the planned investment of Chinese automotive company BYD in Szeged, and whether it could jeopardise the success of the investment, he said he hoped that the European Commission would “remain on the side of common sense”, and there would be no external influence to sever ties between China and Europe. Regarding the employment of guest workers, the minister said there were clear rules in Hungary: foreign workers can be employed only if a Hungarian is not available for the given job. He said “the regulation precluded the possibility of abuses” as Hungarian applicants must be favoured before hiring guest workers. In response to a question on neo-Nazi marches expected early in February, he said the right to assemble had clear limits in Hungary: if a demonstration has a purpose that clearly violates human dignity, it can be banned. He added that the Hungarian authorities were cooperating with foreign secret services to filter out extremists from abroad. Asked about the planned Jewish House of Fates museum, Gulyás noted that there had never been a financial obstacle to opening the institution. The government believed it was the right thing to do to open a museum commemorating the child victims of the Holocaust, he said, adding that the opening of the centre had been impeded by “an unworthy and petty dispute” among Hungarian Jewish organisations. “We are waiting for a consensus,” he said.