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New economic model taking shape in Hungary, says PM

A new economic model is taking shape in Hungary, a model in which value creation is based on work and human effort, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in Parliament on Thursday.

Building up the new economic and social model takes time, thus protests against it would seem premature, Orbán said at a celebration marking the issue of the 150,000th Széchenyi Card, a state-subsidized revolving credit card for SMEs.

Restructuring and renewal was started in the first year of the government's term, but full implementation is still a long way off, he said. However, the global economic crisis is acting as a catalyst, accelerating Hungary's economic renewal, restructuring and success.

Orbán said structural reforms would take place in the framework of the budget over a year that nobody had been willing to undertake in the past two decades. In a single year, in a single budget, an attempt is being made to put the pension fund and healthcare affairs on stable footing, change of ownership of public education institutions, draft a new law on professional training with the help of industry players, and restructure the justice system, he added.

The government does not want the crisis to be the focus of attention, rather the period after the crisis, Orbán said. The government is expected to support such steps to manage the crisis which can make Hungary successful after the crisis, he added.

Orbán said the accelerated disbursement of European Union funds was key. Some HUF 1,400bn in EU funds must be paid out by the National Development Agency in 2012, he added.