Brussels “could not thwart” the Hungarian economy

Brussels “could not thwart the Hungarian economy even if it wanted to,” Finance Minister Mihály Varga said on Monday in an interview published by the Origo news portal.

Varga said the European Union “was trying to turn a purely economic problem into a political problem,” adding that he hoped a “reasonable” solution could be found.

“We are constructive and cooperative, but I must stress that the shameful attitude of Brussels will not affect the situation of the Hungarian economy,” Varga said.

Citing recent calculations, Varga said Hungary’s GDP growth could exceed 6% this year “even if no penny is received” from the EU until the end of the year, he said. he declares.

According to the latest figures, economic growth could be 5.3% next year, and “the economy could make up for losses suffered during the coronavirus pandemic in 18 months,” Varga said.

Regarding inflation, Varga said the economy was picking up around the world, with supplies often limited, resulting in shortages of some materials and goods, and pushing up prices. Goods do not get more expensive “because of VAT or the government,” the minister said. According to the Ministry of Finance, inflation could be 4.2% this year and 3.6% in 2022.

Varga said the government was considering another pension hike for November, for the second time this year, due to higher than expected inflation. He added that a retirement bonus totaling 50 billion forints would be paid to the elderly before the end of the year, while a million families would be reimbursed for the income tax they paid. paid in 2021.

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The government is supporting healthcare companies with 66 billion forints, Mihály Varga said.

Regarding the proposals to introduce a global minimum tax, Varga said that “Hungary refuses to support any tax increases, especially those that would have a negative impact on the competitiveness not only of the country but of foreign companies here”. He noted that a uniform corporate tax rate of 15 percent had been suggested while it was currently 9 percent in Hungary. “We can only promote Hungarian interest even if we have to challenge a proposal from the President of the United States,” he said.

Photo illustrated by Tamás Kovács / MTI

Laura T. Thrasher