Extracts from the joint press briefing by José Manuel Barroso and Gordon Bajnai, Hungarian Prime Minister, after the meeting EC/Hungary
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 28/04/2009
In the week marking the fifth anniversary of Hungary joining the EU, Gordon Bajnai, Hungarian Prime Minister, paid a visit to José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC. After bilateral talks on Hungarian economic difficulties both sides held a joint press briefing. José Manuel Barroso expressed the Commission's support for the reforms that Hungary is pursuing and for the government's commitment to keeping Hungarian public finances sustainable. The new government has announced that the Hungarian economy is expected to contract by around 6% this year. "We believe Hungary is taking now the right steps to turn this round and achieve sustainable growth and jobs in the future," president Barroso said. He underlined that the EU is part of the solution "The current challenges should not blind us to the huge benefits of EU membership for Hungary...Solidarity is in the EU's mutual interest. A strong Hungarian economy is also good for Europe as a whole."
Gordon Bajnai said that Hungary needs rapid tax cuts and reform of its costly pension system. "I have also explained to the President that we have not much time to waste", he added.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival to the press corner
||SOUNDBITE by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC (in ENGLISH): We believe Hungary is taking now the right steps to turn this (economy) around and achieve sustainable growth and jobs in the future. I particularly welcome the measures announced regarding the promotion of increase activity in Hungary.
||Cutaway: member of the press
||SOUNDBITE by Gordon Bajnai, Hungarian Prime Minister (in ENGLISH): What Hungary needs is not simply to reduce short-term costs, we need to do that, but we need to do that by measures which are of structural nature which will put Hungary on a long-term growth path. For example, the reforms around the pension system in Hungary which will have a long-term lasting impact are particularly important. Also measures that are boosting activity in Hungary and that will help the low-skilled labour to have much higher employment ratio in Hungary. Tax reduction which will help Hungary to create more jobs and grow faster in the coming years. These are the pillars of the measures that the government has initiated. I have also explained to the President that we have not much time to waste. We have submitted some of these measures to the parliament as we speak. It is our intention that at the prolonged session of the Hungarian parliament we would accomplish most of the major legislative initiatives in the first half of this year so that Hungary can show and prove to the outside world that Hungary understands the message of this crisis and is ready to act on it.
||Cutaway: the audience
||SOUNDBITE by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): I do not agree with the idea that Hungary is now negative regarding the EU. In fact we see constant support of the EU. And in fact the figures of growth of Hungary over the last ten or twenty years would have been impossible without EU membership of the prospect of the EU membership. I think that we can be proud of what we have been doing for Hungary. Now there is a specific difficulty. Thus is a serious situation. No one is pretending otherwise. Prime Minister was very open in the analysis of the situation. It is a very serious economic situation the one Hungary is facing. Other countries also in Europe are in a similar position. But it is fair to say that the EU is part of the solution to that. In fact we are showing in very concrete terms, not only in words, our solidarity.
||Cutaway: closing of the conference, speakers leaving