The Minister leading the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás stated during the Government Info press briefing on Thursday that the government aims to bring inflation in Hungary down to single digits by November at the latest.
The minister remarked that the data on October’s inflation from the Central Statistical Office (KSH) would be available by Friday afternoon, and it is expected to put inflation to around ten per cent. This is anticipated to further decrease by December, with an expected value slightly above seven percent by the end of the year. Gulyás recalled that inflation has been the major opponent in recent times, but the government is able to maintain its earlier commitment of pushing it down to below ten per cent.
He also highlighted
the increasingly aggressive actions of migrants at the southern border,
putting border guards into life-threatening situations, based on intelligence reports.
Emphasizing that while more statements in favour of a ‘common-sense’ approach are being made by some EU politicians and leaders on this issue, Gulyás pointed out that the European Union is currently seeking to make border protection legally and physically impossible. As an example, he mentioned the ongoing legal proceedings against Hungary for its effective border protection, with Brussels likely wanting to impose daily fines on Hungary for stopping and controlling migrants at the border, which is unacceptable to the Hungarian government. Fundamental changes are needed at both European and national levels, he added.
Gulyás went on to announce that the government is expected to submit a proposal for a law on digital citizenship to the National Assembly next week. The minister explained that the goal is to enable ID processing and electronic signatures on mobile phones. In the future, Hungarian citizens will be able to pay their utility bills through this method. To ensure the competitiveness of the Hungarian economy in the medium and long term, simplify administrative procedures, and make further cuts in state bureaucracy, significant progress in digitization is essential, the minister stated.
As of 1 October, a cybercrime investigation network has been established to combat online crimes. Regarding offenses committed in the online space, Szentkirályi stated that their number is increasing. In the recent period, there were 9,515 such reports, with damages caused exceeding 8 billion forints. Typically, phishing emails and text scams are used to extract banking information. Therefore, the Minister of Interior has decided to establish a 300-member cybercrime investigation network, which was formed with 293 members on 1 October. The network includes 15 members from the National Security Service, consisting of both professionals and external employees, working nationwide.
During the Q&A, Gulyás was asked to react to a new draft EU regulation, according to which Hungary would also have to recognize the parental rights of homosexual couples. The minister declared that there will be no such regulation, stating that
the government’s position remains unchanged: a child has the right to have a mother and a father.
Gulyás was also asked about his thoughts on the fact that President Katalin Novák invited all opposition MEPs for an informal conversation, but only Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi attended. The minister commented that he was not surprised that opposition representatives did not want to meet the president, but he thinks their attitude would be different if it were about the President of the Commission or the Council.
Alexandra Szentkirályi revealed that the government has discussed restricting the sale of energy drinks to those under 18, but no decision has been made yet. Gulyás added that there was serious debate within the cabinet on the matter.
When asked about the government’s plans considering EU funds still not arriving, Gulyás explained that the government expects Hungary to achieve the strongest economic growth in the region next year, based on economic forecasts. Most of these forecasts do not take into consideration any EU support, he noted. The minister acknowledged that receiving the funds would be important, but reminded that it has been demonstrated that Hungary can function without them as well.