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Prime Minister says Hungary must strive to prevent uniform EU taxation

Interview

Uniform European Union taxation would counter Hungary's economic interests, thus the government must strive to thwart any possible attempt to institute such taxation, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Monday.

Hungary would continue its debt-reduction measures, as the country would remain in the danger zone until it brought its debt down to first 70%, then 60% of GDP, he said, speaking at a conference of Hungarian foreign-diplomatic officials on Monday.

The prime minister added that the government would stick by all means at its disposal to the 3%-of-GDP budget-deficit target this year and to create 1m new jobs in the next ten years.

Orban said that government hopes to create 200,000-300,000 new jobs in the next few years, much of them through public work programs.

The prime minister noted that the government's economic and budgetary measures such as the bank tax and sector-based crises taxes and the work-based economy, once thought unorthodox, have become standard practice in the European Union.

Orban added that the euro crisis and attendant real economy crisis would not pass soon, predicting that the euro and EU economies would remain under continual pressure over the next 8-10 years.

The prime minister said that the euro crisis has presented Hungary with an emergency situation over the past three months, compelling the government to wage a battle to preserve the country's sovereignty and implement further economic measures beginning this autumn. Orban cautioned that if Hungary does not succeed in this struggle, it will revert back to the financial path of Greece, and will lose its sovereignty because of speculators. Hungary must avert this path, he said.

This requires further economic measures and to pass remaining legislation requiring a two-thirds majority in parliament yet in the autumn because this steps could be taken with far less efficiency next year. The coming autumn will be an extraordinarily difficult period for Hungarian society and public life, he said.

The next 15 to 20 years will be a period of competition to conclude alliances with rising economic powers such as China, Russia as well as Arab and Central Asian countries, Orban said, noting that solid foreign policy would not, however, call into question transatlantic cooperation.

Orban said that any country that does not participate in the competition to establish new alliances is doing harm to its own interests.

The PM confirmed that a Hungarian delegation will visit Saudi Arabia in the near future.

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