Hungary has a good chance of elevating to the ranks of Europe’s successful states which are able to reduce their public debt, boost competitiveness and preserve political stability, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in Warsaw on Wednesday.
Orban told a summit that critics regard Hungary as the black sheep and a danger to Europe, while others see it as a success story.
He said in 2010 Hungary in the past had been in a worse position than Greece with high public debt and low employment and competitiveness indicators. The ruling Fidesz alliance has since pushed through major transformations such as introducing a tax on bank and multinational companies in order to share the burdens of the economic crisis, strengthening the middle classes as well as adopting a new constitution and civil and labour codes.
The results have proven the government right, he said. The public debt is lower, the budget deficit is below 3 percent of economic output and the employment rate is improving.
“Our only problem among key economic indicators is growth,” he said.
He said criticism targeting Hungary is due to a clash of interests in connection with the sectoral taxes, as well as the opinion that the concepts of religion, nation and family are “things of the past”, while the Hungarian government thinks they belong to the future.
Asked about the independence of the central bank in view of the appointment of Gyorgy Matolcsy as it governor, Orban said the bank’s independence is guaranteed by law.
On Hungarian-Polish relations, he said strong cooperation in central Europe should be built on security policy and trade.
Orban and his delegation, including Peter Szijjarto, state secretary for foreign trade and investment, are in Warsaw to attend a meeting of prime ministers of Visegrad countries (Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Rep, Poland) as well as German chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.