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Telex: Atilla Cekkan: There should be a change in the direction of economic policy

Telex: Atilla Cekkan: There should be a change in the direction of economic policy

Economist Attila Cekkan, university professor and economy minister in Orbán's first government, was Alinda Weiser's guest this week. The presenter wondered how it was possible that the deficit targets set would never succeed, for example, Hungarian public finances had already reached two-thirds of the deficit target. We often hear that the economy is collapsing, so how can a country remain competitive under such conditions?

Attila Cekan recalls: A group of economists, including himself, pointed out ten years ago that the current economic policy was not appropriate and would lead to a slow decline. According to him, this is because the economic objectives set and the social conditions under which they are achieved do not meet the actual requirements of the Hungarian economy.

He said the structure of the economy should be thought about differently, and the money should be invested elsewhere. According to him, we are wrong in many ways. Education, healthcare and the social welfare system have been left completely in the background in recent years.

The direct result of this misdirection is that “it is difficult to find any indication that we are not at the bottom of Europe,” whereas at the time of regime change we were among the leading countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

He continues that this does not mean that we are living worse than we were ten or twenty years ago, but others have developed much faster and we have not been able to take advantage of the opportunities that have been made available. There was a relative abundance of money and balanced international trade.

“During this period you could have broken up if you wanted. Well, we didn't.”

– Tell.

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Speaking of battery factories, he says he believes we are moving toward a monocultural economy. But this does not seem like a promising direction for the future.

He adds that our growth rate is not too bad, but growth is only one of the indicators. If an economist talks about competitiveness, he wants to see inflation, balance and the budget with the growth rate, “because they support each other.”

Why is the Czech Republic more competitive than Hungary, and why is our productivity index only half that of Western European countries, the presenter asked. According to Šekkan, this lag is not because Hungarian people work worse than, say, Czechs, but because most of our activity appears in industries and services with low added value. We can sell what we produce for less than a more developed economy.

This also underlies the level of investments or the very serious impact of corruption on efficiency, since money is often not given to those who can use it most effectively.

He added that efficiency is also directly affected by the health status, level of knowledge, attitudes and life expectancy of Hungarian workers. When asked about the direction in which he believed the ship should head, he said that he would restore the Western orientation in the system of international relations. “I feel very strongly about cultural design,” he said.

Moreover, health and education systems must be restored with funds taken from elsewhere, even at the cost of sacrifices. At the same time, he feels that what he misses most is intention, not money. He added that a change in direction in economic policy will be necessary, but this also requires social political change.

It is very difficult to imagine an exit in the foreseeable future, because the mechanisms that keep the economy and society in this state have been developed.

The interview as a whole, They can be viewed on this interface for a monthly fee.

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