Report: Orbán questions joining the eurozone

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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán suggested skepticism about Hungaryʼs entry into the single-currency eurozone in a speech today, during which he reportedly asked: “How is it possible that the economic performance of those in the eurozone lags behind as compared to those who are outside?”

Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó follows Hungaryʼs Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as the two politicians arrive at the meeting organized for ambassadors. (Photo: MTI/Szilárd Koszicsák)

While he insisted that he had not decided on the issue, during a meeting of ambassadors organized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade today, Orbán did say that joining the eurozone would result in a mutual tax, pension and social benefit system, and if all these are harmonized “what makes us an independent state?”, origo.hu reported. He added that in such a system decisions could be made “somewhere else” and not in the “capital”, origo.hu said.

Orbán said that one of the most important questions in the upcoming years will be whether Hungary gives up its sovereignty and joins the core of Europe or “undertakes the risks of staying outside”, according to origo.hu. He did mention benefits of joining the currency union, saying that he believes there is a “core community” inside the European Union which is in an ever tightening cooperation due to the mutual currency, and the countries outside the eurozone are being left out, according to origo.hu. 

Whatever the decision, the Fundamental Law of Hungary states that the Hungarian currency is the forint, and changing that law means, a two thirds vote in Parliament is required, Orbán noted. He reportedly said that means that there must be “national agreement” on the issue.

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