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Hungary employment tops pre-pandemic levels

Employment in Hungary is now higher than it was two years ago, Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said in an interview to Friday's edition of regional daily Eszak-Magyarorszag.

Through its investment support scheme introduced in response to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the government has so far backed the investments of 1,434 companies, Szijjarto said. This has generated developments worth some 1,700 billion forints (EUR 4.7bn) and saved some 270,000 jobs, he added.

The minister said that in spite of the “suffering” inflicted on the global economy by the pandemic, investments in Hungary had hit a record high last year.

Meanwhile, Szijjarto said that without the lobbying power of the Visegrad Group, migrant resettlement quotas would have been implemented and the protection of the external borders would not have been legally recognised. He insisted that “efforts in Brussels” were under way to undermine the V4 but these would fail: the four countries would carry on coordinating to advance their national interests, he said.

The minister said “foreign forces” were preparing to help Hungary’s leftwing opposition win the 2022 general election, and he urged people to vote against “foreign intervention, anti-vaxxers and migrant parties”, and vote instead for the government of Viktor Orbán, which he said was the defender of the national interest.

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