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Opposing takes on high growth prospects

July 1st, 2017

A pro-government analyst sees high growth forecasts as proof that Hungary’s economic policies yield better results than the mainstream EU recipes, while a left-wing columnist suggests that the government is jeopardising the country’s future by rejecting further European integration.

In Magyar Idők, economist Péter Novoszáth points out that Hungary’s first quarter 3.7 per cent growth is already higher than the rates measured in most European countries, while next year’s expected 4.8 percent GDP growth will put Hungary even further up the European ranking. Hungary has kept the deficit of public finances under the required 3 per cent EU threshold for six years now, while France and Italy are practically stagnating, not to mention Greece where the recipe imposed by the EU is producing endless negative growth.  Novoszáth asks whether under these conditions EU member countries should transfer further competences to Brussels. He believes that more and more decisions should be taken by national governments.

Népszava’s Miklós Bonta on the other hand, is convinced that positive expectations about Hungary’s future are overly optimistic because of the government’s rejection of the idea of closer European integration. He believes that no matter how positive growth indexes and consumer  or investor indexes are, Hungary will not shorten the distance that separates it from more advanced European countries because the government refuses to accept further European integration. After Brexit and after Emmanuel Macron’s victory in France, he argues, the EU will inevitably be moving towards ever closer integration and those member countries that refuse to join in will inexorably be left behind.

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