Finance Minister Mihaly Varga – Photo: Facebook

Varga: Government to reduce public debt further, keep it below EU average

Hungary has reduced its public debt to 73.5 percent of GDP and will keep it below the EU average, Mihaly Varga, the finance minister, said in Ghent on Friday.

Only 16 out of 27 EU member states managed to reduce their public debt last year, he said before an Ecofin meeting, adding that Hungary regards making further reductions this year as a top priority.

Varga argued that the EU debt level must also come down, and Hungary does not back new proposals that would further indebt the EU.

Meanwhile, the minister noted that previously blocked EU funds were continually arriving and the EU has transferred 520 billion forints since last December. This tendency would remain “unhindered for the rest of the year”, he added.

Hungary also expects the European Commission to transfer monies requested for the protection of EU borders, he said, adding that Hungary has spent 700 billion forints on border protection since 2015.

Regarding measures to boost European competitiveness, he said Hungary supported the European Investment Bank’s enhanced role in financing small and medium-sized enterprises, adding that the bank could contribute to Hungary and Hungarian companies becoming the winners of the green transition. Varga said the bank must play a role in investments required for nuclear energy and energy storage.

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