Orbán urges businesses, workers to prepare to adapt post-pandemic

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Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.com

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán urged businesses and workers hit by the coronavirus crisis to weigh ways they can adapt to prosper after the pandemic in a weekly interview on public radio on Friday, state news wire MTI reports.

Viktor Orbán (Photo by Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.com)

Speaking on Kossuth Rádió, Orbán warned that the worldʼs economies "will not look the same" after the pandemic is over.

He said some economic activities will prove to be viable while others will be beyond rescue and urged companies to scrutinize their areas of business and prepare for the changed environment after the pandemic.

"Itʼs not just government assistance for businesses, employers, and employees that is necessary, companies themselves must also take a look at which of their activities will have a place after the pandemic, which will be profitable, and which have lost their markets and their orders for good," Orbán said.

"Itʼs better to face up to this than have the false hope that with government support everything can be preserved and things can return to the state they were before the pandemic," he added.

Orbán touched on the broad measures the government has taken to shield the economy from the pandemicʼs fallout, including wage support, tax breaks, and retraining subsidies, but said businesses and workers need to step up to the challenge of a changed world, too.

"Everybody has to adapt, the government, the authorities, employers...employees," he said.

"We expect a little more from everybody than just sticking it out," he added.

Commenting on the outlook for the economy, Orbán acknowledged that the scale of the governmentʼs stimulus measures is unmatched in Hungaryʼs history, but said he is "not as courageous" as the heads of the National Bank of Hungary who augur an economic expansion this year. He said it would a "grand bravura" if the economy can pull through the crisis with a stagnating GDP.

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