Hungary is ploughing 20% of its GDP into protection efforts against the novel coronavirus, Finance Minister Mihály Varga said after a meeting of the financial action group coordinating the financial response to the epidemic.
Some 2,000 billion forints (EUR 5.5bn) will be used to set up three funds, Varga said. The 633 billion forint protection fund against the epidemic will be funded by the contributions of banks, taxes paid by multinational companies and the monies reallocated by cutting all party subsidies by half, Varga said. The economy protection fund will receive 1,345 billion forints, mainly from reallocations of ministries’ resources. A third fund will handle European Union resources. “This fund is currently empty — despite fake news [to the contrary], the EU is yet to support epidemic protection efforts”, Varga said. The government has so far spent 380 billion forints on equipment, while the economy protection measures have left over 3,000 billion forints with the Hungarian economy, he said. That will enable the payment of 13th month pensions, wage compensation and tax and contribution cuts, he said.