Finance Minister Mihaly Varga – Photo: MTI

Finance Minister in reply to Matolcsy: Economic woes not only affecting Hungary

The governor of Hungary's central bank is correct in identifying a problem with the economy, Mihaly Varga, the finance minister, said on Monday, reacting to a briefing that Gyorgy Matolcsy gave to a parliamentary committee. But the problem of high energy prices is not singular to Hungary, he added.

High energy prices are tipping all European economies towards recession, Varga said on Facebook.

At the hearing of parliament’s economic committee on Monday, the governor blamed the government’s economic policy for the country’s vulnerable situation.

Lawmakers on Monday related some of the contents of Matolcsy’s briefing.

Opposition Democratic Coalition MP Laszlo Varju cited Matolcsy as saying that after 2021 Hungary would be among the five most vulnerable countries in the world. Further, inflation would be between 14 and 18 percent in 2023, he said, adding that there was no longer coherence between the government’s economic policy and the central bank.

In his response, Varga said all countries had been forced into crisis management, not only Hungary. Yet the country’s economic growth rate is robust at 4.1 percent in the third quarter, the seventh highest rate in the EU, while its employment rate is similarly healthy and the jobless rate is still below 4 percent, the minister said, adding that it would be possible to build on the results of the past years.

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