PM: ‘Europe is plagued by war inflation’

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán vowed to protect jobs, pensions, and families despite the inflation rise being felt across Europe as a result of the Russo-Ukrainian war.

Responding to questions in the Hungarian parliament on Monday, Orbán reminded opposition leaders of the measures implemented by his government to mitigate the effect of a rise in inflation, namely the fuel, food, and interest rate caps put in place late last year.

“The question is what can be done. I have been criticized so far for what we have done,” Orbán said. “For example, we introduced price caps. If we reduce VAT, it is not the price that goes down, but the traders who earn more. Therefore, a price cap and an interest rate cap are the right solution, without which the chads would be in a hopeless situation,” he added.

The prime minister assured the Hungarian people that they could count on his government to do everything it can to address cost-of-living concerns and ensure that left-wing governance does not return to the country.

"There is no chaos, but a clear system that is sustainable," Orbán said in response to his critics, insisting that there will be no need to adopt austerity packages, a policy he says was unequivocally dismissed by the electorate in the election on April 3.

"People have said what they think about [austerity], what the opposition parties have offered. Then they went on to do it, and people said on Sunday now that two-thirds of it was again for Fidesz, the rest for you," Orbán told opposition leaders, referring to the four by-elections held in Budapest on Sunday, three of which were won by his governing party.

The prime minister has previously said the pan-European rise in inflation is primarily due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and the consequent sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union and its Western allies. Due to this, the Hungarian government can only do so much to stem the rise in the cost of living.

“Peace must be financed, not war,” Orbán said in a recent interview on public radio, insisting a solution to the Russo-Ukrainian conflict is the only way to counter the “war inflation” experienced by both Hungarians and many others across the continent.

Photo credit: MTI