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Briefing notesEconomy & Policy

Hungary to focus on a stronger economy

PM Orbán emphasized the need to continue increasing wages and employment to combat poverty.

At his press conference last week, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán began with the economy, stating that the government aims to reach 85 percent of the average European Union GDP per capita by 2030. He also stressed that employment and wages must continue to grow to further eradicate poverty. 

For the first time in thirty years, the number of people employed in Hungary is over 4.5 million, more than 800 thousand more than in 2010. Wages have also been rising for 82 consecutive months, with increases being the highest for the lowest earners.

The PM also spoke of the country’s economic protection action plan, meant to keep Hungary as one of Europe’s most competitive economies and achieve growth of at least 2 percent above the European average. In line with such goals as well as the opening of the East, Orbán pointed out that 2019 saw the most investments ever in Hungary, with 38 percent of new jobs coming from Asia.

Healthcare will be a priority for the country. Development funds will be redeployed to prioritize the renovation of hospital waiting rooms, wards and associated social rooms, and healthcare workers and nurses will receive a 72 percent pay rise over 3 years.

There will be a focus on improving the situation in Hungary’s poorest villages as well. The PM stated that the current administration aims to be the government that eradicates poverty in Hungary, adding that current EU figures show that Hungary has 1.3 million fewer people living in poverty than before.

On the climate front, Hungary has adopted a national energy and climate protection strategy. According to Viktor Orbán, 90 percent of the country’s electricity production will be carbon-neutral by 2030, with most of the country’s energy coming from the Paks nuclear plant and solar being the second largest energy source. Hungary could become a climate-neutral economy by 2050, but this would require HUF 50 trillion. In the meantime, the government is developing a climate and environmental action plan with concrete measures: only electric buses will be allowed in urban areas, all illegal landfill sites will be closed, the use of plastic packaging will be rolled back, and plastic bottles will be removed from rivers.

On the current situation in Iran and Iraq, missile attacks did hit military bases where Hungarian soldiers were stationed, but none were injured. The PM further noted that Hungarian troops are presently as safe as they possibly can be, and, if and when necessary, conditions are in place for soldiers to be immediately evacuated.

Per the migration situation, the PM said that the government decided to increase the number of soldiers and police officers on Hungary’s southern border after the number of daily illegal border attempts exceeded one hundred.

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