President Janos Ader in Warsaw – Photo: MTI

President calls it "good news" that economic recession in all four Visegrad countries was below the European Union average

Ader: Easing restrictions depends on pace of vaccination

Hungary will hopefully be in a position to further ease its coronavirus-related restrictions in May if the vaccination of residents "makes good progress", which could result in "another quite successful summer" for tourism, President Janos Ader said after a meeting with his Visegrad Group counterparts in Warsaw on Wednesday.

“The sooner and the larger quantities of vaccines are delivered, the sooner we’ll be able to lift restrictions in tourism, too,” the president said answering a question concerning the restart of tourism in central Europe.

Ader said he hoped that vaccination could be sped up “by Easter or in the period after Easter, until end-April, the latest”. “Thus, similarly to last year, we could reopen in May,” he speculated and voiced hope that “this summer will be as successful for most people in tourism as it was last year”.

Participants in the V4 summit also urged efforts to speed up vaccination, Ader said. “Each day that brings us closer to herd immunity may be crucial in terms of reducing personal sacrifice and the common economic burden,” Ader said.

He said it was “good news” that economic recession in all four Visegrad countries was below the European Union average or that in the largest EU member states. “This gives us reason to hope that recovery will be faster and less painful,” he said. During the pandemic, however, the economy of the whole of the bloc “appeared to be rather vulnerable to the negative impacts of external factors”, Ader said, and called for efforts to reduce that vulnerability in future.

Participants in the summit agreed that the use of coal must be reduced, Ader said. Power plants are needed, however, and “if we take emissions targets seriously, all four Visegrad countries will need nuclear energy and — at least in the next 20-25 years — gas-operated plants, too,” Ader said. He added that the group would lobby for European support for gas projects.

The participants also marked the anniversary of the grouping, and concluded that the past 30 years have been successful, Ader said.

The Hungarian president invited his Visegrad counterparts, Andrzej Duda of Poland, Zuzana Caputova of Slovakia, and the Czech Republic’s Milos Zeman, to participate in the Planet Budapest 2021 environmental expo held between Nov. 29 and Dec. 5.

Leave a Reply