I would like Hungary to catch up with the standard of living in Western Europe
One of the main goals of the Hungarian government is to reach Western standards of living in many respects.
Paradoxically, the main task is to show that we really want to join the queue. So we don’t enjoy being separate in itself, even though we have already gained experience and there are beauties in it – there are so many examples of heroic solitude in Hungarian history and literature – but the goal of our policy is to form alliances. Both at home and abroad. We want a strong European Union made up of strong nations and a strong Central Europe. We are not proud of a separate position in the EU debates, in fact we are sorry if we have to stand alone, but this is essential if we have to make decisions that ignore the interests of Hungary – stated the minister who heads the Prime Minister’s Office in hirado.huin an interview published on Monday.
Among other things, Gergely Gulyás said: Russian oil cannot be replaced by anything else, despite the fact that the government has done everything in recent years to make it an alternative.
The diversification of energy sources and the development of the choice between obtaining resources have been continuously relevant objectives in Hungary since the system change. “I wouldn’t even accuse any post-system change government of not supporting diversification, at least at the level of words.
Another question is whether we did the most for it, since when we came to power in 2010, we could only import gas from Austria and Ukraine, and now six out of seven of our neighbors have interconnectors. That’s why we did everything to ensure that diversification provided the much-talked-about conditions, and no one did as much to reduce dependence on Russian gas as the Orbán governments after 2010,” the minister added.
“The problem is that, in the last thirty years, Europe has not met the demands that often appear in political dialogues, debates, and objectives to obtain raw materials from elsewhere or to obtain energy sources from elsewhere. Until alternatives are developed, we are highly dependent on Russian oil and gas. If the Greek-Bulgarian interconnector is finally completed – it is now promised by the end of next year – then it will also be possible to import gas from Azerbaijan,” the minister indicated.
He emphasized: the government understood that the European Union cannot leave Russian aggression unanswered, they did not want to disrupt the unified European action, therefore they supported the first five sanctions package when, after the consensus of the Versailles summit rejecting the energy embargo, the sixth sanctions package was on the agenda, they were forced to make it clear that Russian oil is currently indispensable for Hungary’s security of supply.
He also explained that the government wants Hungary to catch up with the standard of living in Western Europe. “This has been the goal of Hungarian politics since the regime change, and we have been really successful in this over the past decade. We will do our best to continue this. If we think about it, Under Ferenc Gyurcsány, the average wage was less than the minimum wage now and the standard of living in the ten years behind us – although we are still not where Western Europe is in terms of living standards – it has risen a lot,” he emphasized.
He added: the competitive advantages that Central Europe has over Western Europe must be preserved. Such is public safety, social peace, the fact that we do not say anything about migration and also that this is the region of Europe where parents rightly believe that their children can live better, not worse.
He pointed out that Hungary stands at 76 percent of the average GDP, we surpassed Portugal, which is a great achievement. “But progress must be made, the goal is for Hungary to reach the European Union average within the foreseeable future. And if we proceed as we did in the previous cycle, then in this cycle everything will cause difficulties, war, recovery from the coronavirus, but then we can be satisfied,” Gergely Gulyás pointed out.
To the suggestion of the Budapest cases concerning the person of Gergely Karácsony, the minister replied that he respects the basic law of local governments in order to establish their rights and autonomy. “I do not think that the elected management of Budapest should be forced on any issue, even if in some cases we would go further, if the government and the capital agreement were not determined by political party boundaries” – said Gergely Gulyás.
Shortly after the election of the mayor, he made the decision to consider the mayorship as a “springboard” to the prime ministership. “He already failed in the primary election and now we don’t know what the left, which suffered a devastating defeat with the candidate he chose, wants. We believe that we do not need to force Budapest to do anything, just as Budapest does not need the government. It is a fact that the mayor devoted two of the first three years of his mandate to a campaign against the government, driven by personal ambitions. Despite and after all this, if there is an opportunity for meaningful dialogue, we are open to it,” he said.