Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has announced more support for Hungarian families and businesses amid the coronavirus-related downturn, declaring: “For us, all lives and all jobs matter.”
Prime Minister Orbán said that, while “The second wave of the coronavirus is breaking records all over Europe,” it is also the case that “this virus does not only jeopardize people’s health; it has launched an attack on our families and jobs, too.”
To that end, he has announced a new raft of measures to support Hungarians and Hungarian businesses, including a “Moratorium on loan repayments for families and businesses [being] extended until July 1, 2021” and “Families with (or expecting) children [being able to] apply for a preferential home renovation loan up to HUF 6 million, out of which up to 3 million will be automatically deducted once the renovations are over,” with interest on the loan capped at 3 per cent.
Additional support will be given to “towns and villages with a population below 25,000”, following discussions with local representatives, and local business taxes for small- and medium-sized enterprises will be halved from the beginning of 2021.
Businesses in the catering, tourism, and hotel sectors, as well as private transportation firms — which have all been hit especially hard by the pandemic and associated lockdown restrictions over the course of the year — will have two-thirds of their salary payments reimbursed by the Orbán government.
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The national conservative leader, along with similarly-minded allies in the Polish government, had until recently been at loggerheads with the European Union over bloc-wide coronavirus relief measures, vetoing a proposed budget which had contained so-called rule of law provisions which he and the Poles saw as a thinly-veiled attempt to deprive anti-mass migration governments of their share of funding if they failed to toe the EU line.
“Back in the day, the Central Committee in Moscow used to decide what the ideological line was. Anyone who didn’t follow it was put under pressure,” Orbán said of the dispute in a recent interview with the German press, a transcript of which has been seen by Breitbart London.
“EU Commissioner Věra Jourová wanted to introduce a similar supervisory authority with a rule of law mechanism lacking clear legal definition or objective, universally applicable criteria. By threatening financial sanctions, they want to force [national governments] to implement ideologically defined policies,” he said.
“Our sensitivity to that has historical roots. Hungary was never part of the Soviet Union, it was part of the Soviet empire – together with Poland, the Czech Republic and so on. We know what it’s like when decisions aren’t made in our own capitals,” he added.
The Hungarian leader also blamed the EU for the “disaster” of Brexit.
“The problem is that Brussels has ignored the views and needs of the British for years… The European Union has become ever more ideologically-driven: higher taxes, more state intervention, less competitiveness. Germany and France, as influential powers, are making economic policy socialist, with a greater emphasis on redistribution and less on performance and modernisation,” he lamented.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 22, 2020