Opposition Párbeszéd MP Tamás Mellár said in an online lecture that the Hungarian economy was not stronger or “more crisis-proof” than it had been in 2009 despite considerable European Union assistance.
Referring to macro-economic indicators, Mellár said that the 2020 figures were the same as those at the time of the 2009 crisis, and called the government’s crisis management “ill-advised”. Mellár insisted the government had only spent 2-3% of GDP on crisis management measures, in spite of plans targeting 20%. A significant part of available funds have gone towards “reducing damage or throwing money to the wind”, he said, and argued that assisting sports projects or the churches would not boost the economy. Money has been “poured into tourism and catering”, sectors which are not expected to take a growth path for the time being, he added. According to Mellár, however, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had no alternative: “he had to save the national capitalist class he had created in the interest of political stability”. Mellár said that Hungary’s GDP had been down by 6.5% in 2020, while the deficit had reached 9%, with the foreign debt climbing 80% from an earlier 65. Some fifty percent of the deficit, however, has been the result of spending on projects in December “that had nothing to do with modernising the country”, with grants financing “pet projects” by companies close to the government, Mellár said. The crisis management measures have failed to address the problems of those in need, he insisted.