Socialist co-leaders Agnes Kunhalmi (l) and Imre Komjathi - Photo: Facebook

Socialists call for maintaining price caps, developing knowledge industries

The opposition Socialists call on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to review his economic policies and instead of developing battery manufacturing, to focus on knowledge-intensive industries, the deputy party leader said on Friday.

Agnes Kunhalmi told an online press conference on Facebook that the cause of high inflation in Hungary is not the war but Orbán’s bad economic policies.

She cited expensive Russian gas, the weak forint, the lack of an agreement with the European Union, a 4.1 percent extra retail tax and neglected compensation to flood damage victims among the reasons.

She said it was a “lie” that price caps posed a huge burden on the economy and she proposed maintaining them until the government scrapped VAT on basic foods, or carried out significant wage and pension hikes.

She cited central bank governor Gyorgy Matolcsy as saying that the mistakes made in the 2010s have caught up with Hungary.

Instead of using battery production as a way to “jump on the bandwagon” in electric car manufacturing, she called for focusing on knowledge-intensive industries, research and development. She urged Orban to rely on the intellectual capital in Hungary instead of serving foreign interests.

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