Will the government increase the Hungarian stake in retail chains above 50% by 2026?

Asked about the measures planned by the government, Prime Minister Orbán said yesterday that the government would prioritize maintaining financial stability. Keeping the country’s GDP growth above the EU average is another goal, he said, adding that the government would take further steps to improve demographic figures.

Orbán said the government plans to expand the system of family support measures, but added that in Europe’s current economic situation, timing is still an issue. Asked about Hungary’s next government, Orbán said the newly elected parliament should meet by May 3 and ask the prime minister to form a government. “It’s not in the law that you have to ask the leader of the winning party, but I have some such hopes,” he said.

Orbán said the new government cannot be formed until the end of May. He has not ruled out that János Lázár, his former chief of staff and winner in Hódmezővásárhely, will return to government and be given the task of increasing Hungarian participation in distribution chains to more than 50%.

When asked if Péter Szijjártó remains foreign minister, Orbán said he would like to keep him in government, but that depends on the minister’s decision.

When asked if caps on fuel prices and interest rates would be maintained, Orbán said the government would do everything possible to protect individuals and families from price hikes. The caps will remain in place until the previously announced deadlines, and the government will seek to extend them, he said, adding that negotiations with fuel traders, banks, food producers and retailers are ongoing. Orbán said he sees a chance to maintain the utility price cap.

If the Paks nuclear power plant is modernized and the use of solar energy increases as planned, the share of gas in the Hungarian energy mix can be reduced to 10% by 2030,

he said.

Orbán confirmed the government’s commitment to maintaining financial stability. He noted that the budget deficit and public debt had been reduced even during the election campaign. The situation of the Hungarian economy will depend on the depth of the European crisis, he added.

In response to a question, Orbán ruled out that the government would take austerity measures and increase taxes affecting the public. However, it might be necessary to

special taxes to be imposed on multinational companies

and others, similar to those introduced in 2010, he said, adding that such measures would depend on the EU’s ability to halt rising energy prices.

Asked about EU recovery and resilience funds, Orbán said Hungary has access to a variety of other money market funds because its economy is doing well. “It is inconceivable that Hungary will remain without money,” he said. Asked about teacher salary increases, Orbán said the government would keep its promise to raise 10% this year and the next two. He admitted teachers were right that this was insufficient, but added that further increases would depend on the country’s economic performance.

Orbán said that in legal terms, the April 3 referendum on child protection was found to be invalid, but “never before have so many Hungarians taken a uniform position on an issue.”

“The result of the referendum unambiguously implies a political obligation,” he said. Asked about the recent attacks against the servers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Orbán said that all Hungarian ministries are exposed to permanent attacks from several directions. “We continue to defend ourselves,” he said, adding that he saw nothing out of the ordinary in these developments.

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Source: MTI

Laura T. Thrasher