During an official visit to Warsaw on Friday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said the Visegrad Group is concluding a “good year”, and has handled the coronavirus epidemic successfully in comparison with other European countries.
Speaking at a joint press conference after a summit marking Poland’s assuming the grouping’s rotating presidency on July 1, PM Orbán said the next task was to preserve jobs and restart economic growth.
PM Orbán said the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have their budget deficits under control. Other countries, however, have amassed debts and “the question is whether we can help them,” he said. Although Hungary generally opposes to EU member states taking out loans jointly, it has accepted the EU’s approach to help those states, he said. The matter, however, is far from settled, he said: the member states need a “smart financial agreement” to be able to proceed. As president of the Visegrad Group, Poland will play a key role in those negotiations, he said.
According to MTI, the prime minister also pledged Hungary’s full support to Poland in a period which he said would be defined by defeating the epidemic, restarting the economy and handling the migration crisis.
PM Orbán said he hoped that “economically minded” leaders will be elected everywhere to help their countries recover after the pandemic. He roots for US President Donald Trump, he said, “because he is the only one capable of getting the American economy in order after the pandemic”. Hungary has “great trust” in the Polish presidency, as its leadership involves a “seasoned finance minister,” PM Orbán said.
The prime minister said that next to overcoming the pandemic and restarting the economy, the coming period will also be characterised by more intensive migration, he said. Hungary is already detecting growing numbers of illegal entry attempts, while the number of people smugglers arrested has grown, and the number of COVID-19 cases has grown along migration routes, he said.
Regarding the EU’s recovery package, PM Orbán said the group is “standing united”. The recovery plan is covered from a loan taken out jointly by EU member states, he said. Since there are no net contributors and net beneficiaries, the distribution process will go differently from the EU’s normal budget, he said.
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