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V4 FINANCE MINISTERS MEET IN BUDAPEST

 

The economic success of the Visegrad Group, and Hungary’s above-average performance within it, is key to Europe’s economic success, Finance Minister Mihály Varga told a press conference on Thursday. Speaking after a meeting of the finance ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, Varga said Hungary was among the 10 EU countries to have already rebounded to pre-pandemic economic levels. The country took over the rotating presidency of the Visegrad Group in July under the motto “Recharging Europe”, he noted. The presidency is focusing on restarting the economy, security, and on giving the group a “decisive voice” in the debate on the future of Europe, he added. Numerous data show the V4 countries developed before the pandemic and recovered after it more rapidly than the EU as a whole, Varga said. To bring up two examples, he said that the EU economy shrank by 6.1% last year as against the V4’s 4.6% decrease. The unemployment rate exceeded 7.1% in the block and amounted to 4.1% in the Visegrad countries, the minister said. The participants agreed to continue to boost their economic recoveries and pursue fiscal policies to this end, Varga said. They also confirmed their commitment to keeping V4 growth rates above the EU average by increasing competitiveness, creating jobs and promoting investments. The ministers also agreed to coordinate their climate-related steps, increase family support to meet demographic challenges and cooperate in protecting borders and fighting illegal migration, Varga said.