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It is possible that 2022 will be remembered as the year Hungary entered “the age of dangers”, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview to public radio on Friday, adding that the country had responded proactively.
After the pandemic came the war in Ukraine, followed by an energy crisis, the prime minister said. EU sanctions, he added, caused significant inflation, “and migration pressure is growing once more at our borders”. But Hungary has responded to all these dangers proactively, Orbán said. “We didn’t freeze up; we didn’t want to evade, but we’ve built up defensive positions,” he said. Meanwhile, the prime minister called for the abolition of “failed EU sanctions”.
Orbán noted that the cost of energy imports skyrocketed to 17 billion euros from 7 billion, and the government established a fund for protecting caps on household energy bills up to the threshold of average consumption. The government did not pass higher energy prices to households, but rather Hungarian families receive an energy subsidy averaging 181,000 forints each month, he noted. Had the advice of liberal economists and the Hungarian left wing been taken, a minimum of 1 million families would have gone bankrupt, the prime minister insisted.