As the likelihood of a vaccine against the coronavirus appearing before mid-2021 is small, “we Hungarians will have to endure it … until June or July,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview.
Speaking to public broadcaster Kossuth Rádió, Orbán also commented on the economic aspects of managing the epidemic, noting that the government is focusing on jobs and investments which also include family businesses, not only corporations.
He said the biggest danger to the economy would be “to wait”, as the economy stops when businesses and households put investments and purchases on hold. Over 900 companies have received 300-400 billion forints (EUR 837m-1.1bn) of central support for investments, thereby saving 155,000 jobs.
Orbán referred to the government’s recent decision to cut VAT on construction to 5% as well as other measures such as a rebate on renovations, saying the highest value that can be got out of family investments “is always home building and renovation”. Concerning epidemic protection measures, he said Hungary had acquitted itself well in the spring and ranked among the top countries in terms of its defence measures. “We can win when it comes to the second wave, too,” he said. Hungary’s health-care system can bear the burden until a vaccine arrives, he added.