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Hungary gets positive feedback on reform program from OECD chief

Hungary is on the right path with a recently unveiled structural reform program, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said in an interview with MTI on Friday.

"We strongly support the Széll Kálmán Plan," Gurria said. The plans are in line with the OECD's recommendations, and now the organization is waiting for the steps the government plans to take, he added.

"The implementation is just as important as the plan, although unquestionably a good plan helps much," he said.

Structural reforms have always been key from the point of view of growth, but now they are the only opportunity for growth, Gurria said.

The Szell Kálmán Plan properly addresses the fiscal balance and labor market difficulties, he said. It makes the labor market more flexible while at the same time keeping workers active for a longer period, by making early retirement difficult, he explained.

Hungary must create workplaces, especially for young people, if the country is to achieve sustainable economic growth, Gurria said. The country must also further increase its competitiveness and productivity, while using its qualified workforce to shift from branches of production to services, he added.

Hungary's state debt must be reduced, he said. "In the interest of making Hungary's state debt manageable, it must be reduced every year," he added.

All of these steps must be taken with an eye to achieving sustainable growth, Gurria said. Growth creates workplaces and increases incomes and investments, which in and of themselves support growth, he added.