“The Hungarian model stands the test of the greatest challenges”

Hungary’s performance over the past twelve years, “and in particular the economic output of the last year”, is proof that “the Hungarian model remains effective even in times of greatest challenges”, said the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. Recount business leaders on Tuesday.

Péter Szijjártó, speaking at the 23rd summit of the Hungarian Business Leaders Forum, said the government was applying “specifically Hungarian solutions” to solve the problems, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

He said that although this approach has been “strongly criticized both in Hungary and abroad”, its solutions “have always proven to be successful”.

Regarding the challenges faced by the government since 2010, Szijjártó mentioned the fallout from the global crisis of 2008-2009, to which the government’s response was to reduce taxes, launch an extensive investment promotion program and introduce its policy of opening to the East.

Referring to the migration crisis, Szijjártó said that despite the “extremely serious attacks” on the government’s introduction of strict border controls and its migration policy in general, Hungary and other countries of the Visegrad group cooperated to prevent the introduction of mandatory migrant quotas across Europe. These quotas “could have led to a disaster”, he added.

On another topic, Szijjártó said the government made a strategic decision in early 2021 to solve the shortage of coronavirus vaccines by importing vaccines from the East, helping a vaccination campaign, which meant the country could reopen its economy two months before the rest of Europe.

He also criticized EU institutions for “making vaccine licensing a political issue”, calling it “one of their biggest mistakes of all time”.

Addressing the economic impact of the pandemic, Szijjártó said the opposition had advocated “financing unemployment” by paying benefits using foreign loans. Conversely, the government used its resources to fight unemployment and “launched the biggest investment promotion program ever”.

Meanwhile, Szijjártó said that “Hungary’s sovereign foreign policy has proven that it is possible to remain a staunch ally while maintaining pragmatic and civilized relations with eastern countries like Russia”. He insisted that “the most vocal critics of China and Russia” derive the greatest benefits from cooperation with these countries.

Referring to the situation between Ukraine and Russia, Szijjártó reaffirmed Hungary’s support for negotiations and cooperation between the two sides.

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Regarding the April 3 parliamentary elections, Szijjártó said that if the ruling parties won another term, the government would continue to reduce taxes and red tape while maintaining its policy of attracting foreign investment to the country.

featured image via Zoltán Máthé/MTI

Laura T. Thrasher