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ORBÁN: GROWTH GIVES HUNGARY COMPETITIVE EDGE

 

Commenting on Hungary’s 5.3% GDP growth in the first quarter of 2019 in a radio interview, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that the aim was to keep Hungarian growth permanently 2% above the European average. That would give the country a competitive edge over its EU competitors, and “our future depends on that,” he said.
Regarding his talks with US President Donald Trump on Monday, Orbán noted that Trump had come into politics from the world of business and not of academia. At the meeting, Trump was aware that 1,700 US companies are operating in Hungary, Orbán said, knew the volume of trade between the two countries and the Hungarian economic model. “But most of all, he knew about migration and the Muslim invasion towards Europe that Hungary had stemmed.”
Hungary has an interest in a US company starting extracting natural gas on the Black Sea, in Romanian waters, as soon as possible, he said. This is Hungary’s only alternative to Russian resources, he said. Hungary also counts on the US in the upgrade of its armed forces, especially in infrastructure defence which warrants the implementation of mid-range missiles, Orbán said. The legal procedure to procure such weapons is underway, he said.
Regarding economic relations with Russia and China, Orbán called the European policies “hypocritical”. Using sanctions against Russia, western European countries have “knocked” central European countries from the Russian markets and “elbowed their way in”, he said. Western Europe also slams cooperation between central Europe and China but their trade with China “has been growing to an amazing extent,” he said.
Regarding prenatal subsidies, the prime minister said the government had consulted Brussels on the new scheme to avoid another legal procedure against Hungary. Brussels has “refused” to green-light the plan, he said, citing a risk of illicit state funding. “Of course, when it comes to issuing migrant cards, there is no such problem,” he said.
The root of the problem is that those “wanting to solve European demographic problems through migration” look askance on family policy and vice versa: those promoting family policies as a solution oppose migration, Orbán said.