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Liberal pundit on brain drain

August 1st, 2015

A liberal pundit agrees with Mihály Varga, Minister of National Economy that the brain drain is a serious problem for Hungary. He doubts, however, if the government can do much in the short run to slow down the exodus of skilled Hungarians by hiking the minimum wage.

In a roundtable discussion at the Youth Free University at the Carpathian resort town of Baile Tusnad (Tusnádfürdő), in Romania, Mihály Varga, Minister of National Economy said that after consolidating the Hungarian economy, one of the biggest challenges the country faces is the brain drain. Mr Varga noted that because of low wages, young Hungarians educated and trained in the country leave for Western Europe where salaries are higher. Mr Varga added that such a  process can only be stopped if wages in Hungary increase.

In Figyelő, György Dózsa doubts that the government can do much in order to raise wages and, consequently, stop the brain drain. If the minimum wage is raised, jobs will be lost, Dózsa fears. Herecommends that wages will increase only if investors are willing to pay more for Hungarian employees, which will happen only if they possess valuable knowledge and expertise, This, Dózsa concludes, can only be achieved in the long run through investment in education rather than trying to supply multinational companies with cheap labour.

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