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Orban doubts fair treatment of Hungary in Brussels

Hungary cannot be certain that the European Union’s decision whether or not to lift an excessive deficit procedure against the country will be based on facts, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said. Based on the facts only, Hungary would exit the procedure, but the government cannot trust that Hungary will get fair treatment, Orbán told. The EU is not always even-handed and fact-driven when it comes to its treatment of Hungary, he said, adding that the country’s “ardent critics” are expected to make every possible effort so that the government reduces the banking levy and reverses its decision to cut public utility fees. “It remains to be seen to what extent Brussels will be infected by this way of thinking,” he said. Commenting on last year’s budget deficit of 2% of gross domestic product (GDP), Orbán said Hungary was performing better than previously “but we are still not good enough.” He added, however, that if debt service data were excluded, Hungary would produce a budget surplus. This gives the country a chance to “repay loans taken out previously, which means we are on the right track,” Orbán said.