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Orbán: if EU doesnʼt pay, Hungary will turn to China

Central Europe still has substantial handicaps to overcome due to a development gap in infrastructure and it would turn to China if the European Union cannot give financial support, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told a forum of leading German companies in Berlin on Wednesday, as reported by state news wire MTI.    

Orbán met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Budapest in November (photo MTI/Péter Trebitsch).

"Central Europe has serious handicaps to overcome in terms of infrastructure; there is still a lot to be done in this area," Orbán was quoted as saying by Bertalan Havasi, his press chief, at the Welt-Wirtschaftsgipfel forum. "If the European Union cannot provide financial support, we will turn to China," he added.

Orbán said 2018 would be a "critical year" for Europe, stressing that the continent has to save the Schengen system if it is to retain or boost its competitiveness.  

The four Visegrád countries - Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic - are growing very dynamically, and will catch up with Western industrialized countries by 2030 and become net contributors to the EU budget, the prime minister asserted. 

"In 2030, by and large Germany and the Visegrád countries will finance the European Union," Orbán claimed.