The European Union’s current financial distribution system is “absurd”, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Friday morning in his regular weekly interview on national channel Kossuth Rádió.
“The new distribution system of the European Union is absurd because they are financing the rich countries with money from the poor countries,” Orbán said. He was answering a question about the €750 billion recovery plan announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday, within which Hungary would be entitled to €15 billion.
Orbán explained that according to the plan, the EU member states would jointly borrow this money, meaning that they will also have to offer joint repayment guarantees. According to the Commission’s plan, the loan will be repaid between 2028 and 2058 after an initial seven-year grace period. The Hungarian prime minister said he had doubts regarding the plan.
“This also means that if a country is unable to pay, the others will have to contribute instead,” Orbán said. “I suggest that we calmly analyze this and decide whether we want to go down this path.”
Answering a question about next year’s budget — which envisions a 4.8 percent GDP growth next year after a 3 percent decline this year — Orbán said that while any budget has “inherent uncertainties”, the 2021 budget is well-grounded, and if the country is successful in following through with the economic protection plan, then 2021 “could not only be a good year, but a fantastic year.”
He also pointed out that with the having successfully fought the first phase of the pandemic, the government handed back to parliament its extra mandates. He added, however, that a second wave could come in the autumn, for which reason the country is maintaining both the coronavirus operative group and the military administration of the hospitals.
“The second wave notwithstanding, we must also be prepared for localized spikes in the number of infections in hospitals or homes for the elderly and a special task force within the operative group was designated to handle those cases,” Orbán said.
Title image: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in the Kossuth Rádió studio. (MTI/Zsolt Szigetváry)