The Minister of Finance expects real wages to rise next year, and promises that what is saved from the repaired chocolates will be spent in some other form on subsidizing housing.

Mihaly Varga announced that the 2024 budget is planned at an exchange rate of 381 forints/€. Minister of Finance a world economygive to in his interview Put it like this:

We are doing well so far, nowadays forint is showing its stronger side.

Varga also talked about how the uncertainty, given that the government is still unable to agree on EU funds with the European Commission, is affecting the Swiss franc’s exchange rate.

The minister took the opportunity here and reiterated the government’s narrative that they have met all the required conditions, but the commission is not transferring money to the recovery fund.

I find it inexplicable that three years after the advent of Covid, there are still countries, including Hungary, that have not received the support they deserve. The program is slowly entering the repayment phase, so the impossible situation may arise whereby Hungary repays the loans taken, while it has not yet received the non-refundable subsidy or part of the loan

Varga explained.

When asked if last year would have been easier if Hungary had used the euro, he replied, “It probably would have been easier,” but quickly added:

The euro is not a panacea, and it will not make the economy better or worse. What really matters is the quality and efficiency of economic policy. The Czech economy is doing better than the Slovak economy, although the Slovaks have the euro and the Czechs have their own currency.

And although the author of the interview indicated that, according to the head of the Budget Council, Hungary could fulfill the conditions for the introduction of the euro by the end of next year, Varga showed caution in this regard. He said:

This possibility should be considered, but the government should not rush into this matter.

In the interview, the Minister of Finance stated, among other things, that:

  • The impact of discontinuing investment should not be overstated, as Hungary’s investment rate is still 28.5 percent, the highest in the European Union;
  • The tightening of Social Security was not due to the difficult budget situation, according to Varga, about the same amount would be spent on housing subsidies in a different form (he did not talk about this other format);
  • There will certainly be an increase in real wages next year, and pensions will retain their value.


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