Hungary supports all economic growth tools which do not raise debt, says PM
23 May 2012
Hungary will support all tools achieving economic growth as long as it does not add to debt, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in Brussels on Wednesday, before a working dinner of EU heads of state and government on growth and jobs.
"We, Hungarians, have learnt over the past eight years that debt in the end can take the roof from over our heads... For every forint spent sooner or later someone has to pay, that is, it must be earned by work. So we support growth, but only the kind that will not generate debt," Orban said.
The informal meeting of 27 EU leaders is held to discuss how to animate growth and employment throughout the bloc.
Orban said the Hungarian position in this regard was that the range of growth-inducing tools should be widened with all kinds considered. He added however that in the EU today there was only one tool which has proven to bring growth and create jobs, and this was the Cohesion Funds.
"The Cohesion Funds have so far created 2.5 million jobs in Europe, to regroup funds from here would be irresponsible and Hungary will not support it," he said.
He added that a strong euro was important for Hungary as this would help the forint's stability, too.
He noted that Hungary, as a non-member, is not directly impacted by debates on how to save the eurozone. But it is affected indirectly, because if Hungary is not standing strong on its feet it could be shaken by trouble in the eurozone, he added.
The eurozone debate does not influence Hungarian economic policy, as this is "not dependent on what is happening here in Brussels," Orban said. He added that the government has an answer to how the country could be saved from its debt mountain while improving its competitiveness at the same time. However, this is a difficult task and there are only one or two countries in Europe which, though indebted, can bring those two aims together, Orban said.
Text: mti, Photographer: Miniszterelnökség/Barna Burger