Ukraine army

Prime Minister Orbán talks about Ukraine, army development, retirement bonus and opposition in radio interview

The government will pay retirees a bonus of 80,000 forints (222 euros) in November, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told the pro-government public broadcaster Kossuth Rádió on Friday morning.

In view of the performance of the Hungarian economy, the government has decided to pay this amount also to the 435,000 retirees who would not be eligible under the pension law, Orbán said.

Meanwhile, inflation has been higher than expected this year, he noted. While half of the retirement pay to compensate for inflation was paid on July 1, the second half is due in November, bringing the one-time supplement for some retirees to 100,000 forints, he said.

If the government’s economic policies were to remain successful over the next three months, Orbán said “there is a chance” of paying a full month’s retirement bonus in early February. “We have to work for this, we have to fight for this, but it is not impossible,” he said.

GDP growth will certainly reach 5.5% this year, and the government will keep its promise to reimburse personal income taxes to some 1.9 million adults raising children by mid-February, a declared Orbán.

Opposition would abolish utility price cuts

Regarding the opposition’s ongoing campaign, Orbán said that the opposition’s claim that they will align the prices of utilities with the world market actually means the removal of government measures to reduce prices. utility prices. “We would be back where we were before 2010,” he said.

“The problem with Hungarian politics is that we keep asking ourselves if the past has to come back, rather than looking to the future,” Orbán said. Well-known actors from the Gyurcsány-Bajnai governments, which were in power between 2004-2010, are trying to make a comeback, he said. “If they come back, so will the high prices,” he said.

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Under leftist governments, large international corporations flourished as families struggled, Orbán said. “Between 2002 and 2010, I regularly criticized the Gyurcsány and Bajnai governments for raising the prices of gas and electricity,” he said.

When it came to power in 2010, the Christian-Democratic government Fidesz had to abandon this practice and fight against international companies and Brussels to freeze the prices of public services, Orbán said. “This is how we have come to a point where our domestic gas prices are the cheapest in the European Union and domestic electricity prices the second cheapest,” he said. Hungary has achieved all this without having its own energy resources, he noted. “Meanwhile, Western Europe is experiencing price hikes that we could not imagine,” he said.

Agreement with Gazprom, Ukraine

Regarding the gas deal signed with Russian Gazprom earlier this week, Orbán congratulated the Foreign Ministry and the negotiating delegation for obtaining lower prices than the previous 1995 contract.

Orbán also praised the “fairness” of the Russian partners in “the conclusion of an agreement worthy of reliable partners who respect the interests of each”. “The truth is, we need gas, and issues of energy supply and energy security should not be confused with political criticism against Russia,” he said.

Regarding Ukraine’s statements that Hungary was violating the Hungarian-Ukrainian intergovernmental treaty by accepting delivery routes avoiding Ukraine, Orbán said Hungary could “unfortunately” ignore the protests. “I respect Ukraine and wish the Ukrainian people every success, but when it comes to gas, we have to consider the interests of the Hungarians rather than the Ukrainians,” he said.

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In response, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it would turn to the European Commission and postpone a meeting of the Hungarian-Ukrainian Economic Committee in response to the decision.

Defense industry developments

Regarding yesterday’s cabinet meeting on Hungarian defense industry developments at a military base in Hajmáskér, western Hungary, Orbán said he reviewed the development of the defense industry and the technological development of the army, as well as the situation of recruiting, training and supplying troops. Decisions on new military developments in 2022 have also been made, he said.

“We live in a time full of dangers, and in the face of migration, we need an efficient and well-functioning army because we would not be able to protect our borders without the soldiers,” Orbán said, adding that Hungary had received very little money from Brussels for border protection.

Fourth wave

In connection with the coronavirus pandemic in Hungary, the prime minister said the government had prepared for a fourth wave, noting that the country had 17 million doses of the vaccine in stock.

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He asked Hungarians to get vaccinated, stressing that herd immunity was not an option with “this type of virus – he will look for those who are not vaccinated”. “The risk is not getting vaccinated, not getting a jab,” Orbán said.

featured image via MTI / PM / Benkő Vivien Cher press office


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