Access to single market key to Hungary’s EU membership
BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary must remain a member of the European Union to ensure continued access to its single market, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday, adding the country would be among the last to leave the bloc if it were ever to disintegrate.
Both Hungary and Poland are at odds with Brussels on issues that range from LGBT rights to press freedoms. The European Commission filed legal proceedings against both countries in July over discriminatory measures that it claims were taken against gay people.
Hungary’s AKK government debt agency raised an equivalent to 4.4 billion Euros ($5.2 Billion) on global markets last week. The money was much higher than what was expected in order to pay for a delay in EU COVID funding.
Orban, conservative nationalist, stated that Hungary is a net recipient of EU funds and the reason it should stay in the EU. Orban also stated that this week’s sale of debt showed Hungary was on sound financial footings.
If you take a look at the entire year, it is clear that we receive more money than we pay from Brussels. Orban explained that the balance was negative when you take out the money Western (companies), repatriate each year from the country.
He said that the EU was important to Hungary because it gives them access to a global market. “We must defend the EU and continue to be a part of it. This is why I believe that, no matter what it crackles and creaks, we will still be part of the EU should it end.
Orban will face a tight-fought election next spring. He used a 9.9% corporate tax rate in order to attract major investments into the car and manufacturing industries. These have helped Orban establish a strong image of economic management.
Orban stated that this year’s economy growth will likely surpass 5.5%. This opens the door to a host of support measures for key groups before the next spring’s parliamentary elections.
Orban will speak to lawmakers on Monday about his government’s plans during the first autumn session.
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