Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Competitiveness, environmental protection must go hand in hand, minister says

Szijjarto: ‘Carbon tax insane idea’

Hungary's foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, has called the proposed EU carbon tax on drivers of conventional cars "insane". After a meeting of the of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris on Thursday, he said the proposal must be abandoned at all costs.

“Judging from the developments of the recent past, the world appears to have embarked on an uncontrollable rollercoaster with regard to the economic outlook,” the foreign ministry quoted Szijjarto as saying.

Tackling global challenges appears a forbidding task, Szijjarto said, adding that two things must be avoided. “One is not to increase the tax burdens of people and the other is not to make countries that are not responsible the for war in Ukraine to pay its price,” he said.

“We reject any form of tax changes that would put extra burdens on people,” the foreign minister said.

Competitiveness, environmental protection must go hand in hand, minister says

The improvement of competitiveness and environmental protection should go hand in hand, Szijjarto told the meeting. Hungary is proud to be one of 21 countries that have achieved economic growth while reducing their harmful emissions, Szijjarto told the meeting on trade and sustainability, according to a ministry statement.

Szijjarto stressed that Europe must not allow its environmental protection measures to put it at a competitive disadvantage to its global rivals.

He also said that if the European Union were too strict with its partners as regards political regimes and environmental protection measures in trade agreements, it could eventually find itself in a position where “we can only trade with ourselves”, causing it to lose significant potential for growth.

Szijjarto underscored that environmental protection must not be “held hostage” by any sort of ideology or philosophy.

He also urged a fact-based debate on which energy sources could be considered clean and green, saying it was important to ensure fair competitive conditions for nuclear energy.

Investments in the peaceful use of nuclear energy should not be discriminated against, especially now that the energy security of many member states is at stake, Szijjarto said.


Leave a Reply