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Economy

With record-low unemployment, Hungary is getting back to work

When the Orbán Government took office in 2010, it set about building a new, labor-based economy that would replace welfare checks with work opportunities. Today, Hungary’s unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest in 27 years. At 4.5 percent, according to the latest data, the country’s jobless rate is less than half of the EU average of 9.8 percent and beats most other Member States.

“Hungarian reforms are working,” we say, referring to a package of government policy changes that have paid off state debt, cut taxes and spurred GDP growth. But the Hungarian economy is working, because Hungarians are…

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January 23, 2017

Economy

With economic turnaround, Hungary aims to create ‘best business atmosphere’ in the region

It’s been a long time coming, but over the past six years Hungary has recovered from an economic disaster potentially worse than the one Greece has faced. Former critics, even some of the harshest detractors of the Orbán Government’s economic policies, have acknowledged the success, and with the turnaround gaining momentum, the government is setting out a more ambitious agenda. With the foundations of economic stability firmly in place, the government aims to create the most attractive business climate in the region, increasing competitiveness and the living standards of the people.

In recent days, Eurostat updated its Macroeconomic Imbalance…

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November 29, 2016

Economy

Fiscal discipline, job growth: Hungarian economy continues to exceed expectations

In today’s European Union, many Member States struggle to keep spending under control and hit the Maastricht targets, while producing economic growth and reducing unemployment. Once relegated to the back of the class in the remedial group of European economies that face perpetual excessive deficit procedure, the Hungarian economy has now moved to the front row.

The ambitious economic goals set by Prime Minister Orbán include demanding fiscal discipline to keep the budget deficit not only under the three-percent Maastricht threshold but low enough to reduce nominal state debt. It calls for GDP growth to increase from the current level…

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September 14, 2016

Economy

We all want to pay 0.005 percent tax

That is 1 euro after every 20 thousand euros. Yet only Apple and very few multibillion-dollar businesses enjoy this privilege. Where is social responsibility? What happened to fair competition (among businesses but also member states)? What got into the European Commission? How did Hungary pave the way?

The European Commission has ruled that Ireland should collect 13 billion EUR, plus interest, from Apple on sales concluded between 2003 and 2014, when the company was granted exceptionally favorable taxation status. For eleven years, the Irish tax authority charged Apple only a symbolic corporate tax that was, over the course of the…

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September 13, 2016

Economy

Hungary’s economy resilient despite post-Brexit turbulence

The United Kingdom last week appointed Theresa May as its new prime minister and, following a rough stretch for British politics and financial markets, the FTSE 100 soon rebounded and a heavily discounted British pound regained value. Throughout the post-Brexit turbulence, key indicators in the Hungarian economy have remained decidedly positive.

Hungary is reporting record amounts of foreign direct investment, reaching a record 1.33 billion EUR in the first six months of 2016 with investments from the United States outpacing those from Germany for the first time in many years. And the forecast for the rest of 2016 gives more…

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July 18, 2016

Economy

‘Unorthodox Hungary’ and the credit rating upgrade

Following the 2008 financial crisis, investors worried over two European countries: Greece and Hungary. While Greece still struggles, Hungary has found a way out of the terrible spiral of unmanageable deficits and growing debt. The credit rating upgrade by Fitch, long overdue and one that the markets already priced in some time ago, is just another sign that Hungary is on the right track.

Beating the statistics, Hungary was returned to investment grade by Fitch Ratings in May after a four-year hiatus. According to Fitch’s own statistics, it typically takes a country six years on average to return to investment…

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June 8, 2016

Editorial
Another Milestone on Hungary’s Impressive Road to Economic Recovery?

Another Milestone on Hungary’s Impressive Road to Economic Recovery?

The forecasts for Hungary’s economy have been trending positive for the past couple of years, a demonstration that the Orbán Government’s reforms are working. 

“Hungary moved closer to regaining its investment grade status at Moody’s Investors Service after Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government helped reduce the country’s debt load and kept the budget deficit in check,” Bloomberg reported on the credit rating agency’s move late last Friday. The next business day, November 9, OECDreleased its forecast, predicting a healthy economic path for Hungary in the coming years: GDP growth higher than expected and debt on sharp decline. Recent…

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November 19, 2015

Editorial

Nations Make Europe, Families Make Nations, Children Make Families

There is only one way out of this crisis: increasing the birth rate while also recognizing and aiding families who are raising children. This is the only way we can preserve Europe’s role in the world. 

from the Budapest Demographic Forum, November 5-7

“We Hungarians believe that children magnify the strength of their parents and the strength of the family,” said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, “and a generation of children magnify the strength of a nation, a whole country, and, finally, our entire civilisation.” The prime minister was addressing the

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November 12, 2015

Editorial

EPP Bureau Meeting in Hungary: Debates Strengthen Our Partnership

At our invitation, the European People’s Party Group chose Budapest as the site for last week’s bureau meeting. When Hungary has been the subject of debate recently in the European Parliament, the positive outcome of the visit came at an important time. The session focused on pressing European matters, particularly economic growth, unemployment and immigration, and its outcomes were encouraging, especially on the issues of tax fairness and data protection.

Hungary’s Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga briefed the group on the country’s economic performance and latest indicators. MEP Manfred Weber, leader of the EPP Group in the European…

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June 16, 2015

Editorial

Greece, the Troika, and ‘Running Out of Other People’s Money’

The government of Greece managed to meet the deadline to make a 448 million euro payment on its IMF loan. Questions remain, however, about its ability to make future payments in the coming weeks and to secure more bailout funding. 

That may explain the tone of some of the strident statements coming lately from Athens and the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, whose election in January was welcomed wholeheartedly by the European Socialists. Over the last several weeks, senior officials in Athens have reportedly threatened Europe with the possibility of default, hinted at leaving the Eurozone and…

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April 24, 2015

Editorial

Hungary’s Tough Road to Economic Recovery

Hungary is undergoing an economic recovery. 

Standard & Poor’s recently upgraded Hungary’s credit rating. Now, Hungary stands only one notch below investment grade category at all three major credit rating institutions, but several financial experts say Hungary may return to its pre-crisis, investment grade rating before the end of the year.

It has been a tough road back, but the upgrading of the credit rating marks a significant milestone in Hungary’s economic recovery. Hungarians have a right to be proud. Back in 2008, following uncontrolled government spending and a downward spiral of low growth and more debt, the financial crisis…

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April 17, 2015

Editorial

No, Let’s Really Get Rid of Roaming Fees

Roaming fees were on their way out in 2015. Now, it seems like some are trying to back out of the plan. Let’s not go back. Let’s get rid of the roaming fees as we promised our citizens. 

It looked like the case was closed back in 2013 when the European Commission recommended getting rid of roaming fees within the EU. The European Parliament backed the recommendation – with a huge majority – then the European Council gave it a green light in 2014. After that, the legal framework was to be put together and Member States would then ratify…

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February 18, 2015