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The 10,000 engineers working in development and a further 10,000 in telecommunications make Hungary “much more than just a production line”, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said, inaugurating a 265 hectare test track for self-driving vehicles near Zalaegerszeg, in the southwest. Hungary has ploughed some 800 billion forints into vehicle development research centres in the current EU financial cycle, he said. The government has allocated 140 billion forints to R+D+I this year alone, and intends to raise that amount by some 30 to 40 billion next year, he said. That funding provided the backdrop to a controversy surrounding the reorganisation of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, he said. The question was not the future of the Academy but the future of innovation. “If we want to spend more money on it… then it is clear we want to use those monies well and effectively,” he said.

Orbán also touched on the political crisis in Austria, and said that “our Austrian friends could not come today, due to an extraordinary [political] shooting season started.” He noted the importance of political stability.