Finance Minister Mihaly Varga – Photo: MTI

Finance minister: Public debt down more than earlier projected

Fresh data show that the public debt dropped to 76.8 percent of GDP by the end of last year, lower than earlier projected, while the ESA budget deficit was 6.8 percent, as against the earlier projection of 7.5 percent, Finance Minister Mihaly Varga said on Friday.

Varga said on Facebook that Hungary’s public debt was falling while the European Union average exceeded 90 percent, and the European Commission projected further debt increases in the bloc.

“Not only did we make a promise, we fulfilled it, too,” Varga said.

The minister said the data vindicated the government’s approach to the pandemic-related crisis of supportive spending rather than austerity.

Hungary was the quickest in Europe to relaunch its economy, he said, and this handed it an early advantage when it came to improving the balance indicators.

Varga said the government’s policy of reducing Hungary’s exposure to foreign debt financing while increasing the role of Hungarian households in the bond market had proven “correct”.

The minister noted that the government boosted financial reserves at the end of last year, thereby reducing the country’s financial vulnerability before the Ukraine war broke out.

“Hungary today is stronger and more resilient than ever before,” Varga said.

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