Stocksak: Hungary’s Orban promises to preserve economic stability in crisis By Stocksak

© Stocksak. Viktor Orban, Hungarian Prime Minster, attends Mindszentyneum’s induction during the celebrations marking the 66th Anniversary of the Hungarian Uprising, in Zalaegerszeg. Hungary, October 23, 2022. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

BUDAPEST, Stocksak – The government of Hungary will maintain economic stability next to the European Union’s “economic crisis” and keep a limit on household energy bills, Viktor Orban, the nationalist Prime Minister, stated on Sunday.

Orban, who was elected for a fourth consecutive term in April elections and marked the anniversary of the 1956 uprising that ended Soviet rule, stated that next year would present many challenges due to the conflict in Ukraine.

Orban said to Zalaegerszeg supporters that there was a conflict in the east and an economy crisis in the West. Orban is located about 200km (124 miles) west of Budapest. He also stated that there was a financial crisis and economic downturn within the EU.

Teachers and students were expected to protest against the government in Budapest later in the day.

“In 1956, we learned that unity is necessary in difficult times. We will preserve economic stability, every person will have a job, we will defend the scheme of energy bills caps, and families won’t be left on their feet.”

Orban’s policies have included caps on electricity and gas bills. However, the cost of these schemes rose significantly this year due to rising energy prices. This has placed a heavy burden on the state budget. The government was forced from Aug. 1 to remove the cap for households with higher usage.

December is the deadline for the government to discuss budget changes for 2023.

The July budget forecasted 4.1% economic growth next year, while inflation was forecast at 5.2%. These forecasts were subsequently rendered obsolete due to the dramatic rise in prices into double digits. Inflation in the headlines topped 20% in September, and it is still rising. However, growth is expected to slow down to 1% next year.

Hungary, which imports the majority of its oil and gas from Russia, has seen its current account deficit and trade gap increase due to rising energy prices. The central bank predicts that this could rise to almost 8% of its GDP. The forint currency plunged into record lows against the dollar and euro earlier in the month, prompting the central bank’s emergency move to raise interest rates on Oct. 14.

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