Orbán: ‘Dwarfs want to put pressure on an energy giant’
The EU is targeting Hungary again. Brussels has now cleared the way for massive financial sanctions against Budapest as a tit-for-tat for Hungarian foreign policy, which includes strict neutrality on the issue of Russia sanctions and continuous gas supply contracts with Gazprom.
Published: September 21, 2022, 10:00 am
The EU Commission agreed on Sunday to block EU payments amounting to around 7,5 billion euros since the money is not safe from “misuse” in Hungary, explained Budget Commissioner Hahn. Just recently, a resolution was passed in the European Parliament with a majority of left-wing and green MPs accusing Hungary of no longer being a “democracy”.
The Hungarian government under Viktor Orbán has not contested this move. Orbán instead again criticized Brussels’ course on energy. It is absurd that “dwarfs want to put sanctions under pressure on an energy giant,” said the Hungarian head of government during a visit to Serbia.
Hungary’s gas storage depots are full, Budapest has also negotiated additional supply guarantees with Gazprom, and the price of petrol for Hungarian citizens has been reduced to 1,18 euros per liter.
Energy dwarfs sanctioning a giant
Against this background, Orbán declared during his visit to Serbia, during which he was awarded a medal by President Vučić: “The stronger impose sanctions on the weaker. But if you look at the energy realm, you see that we, as dwarfs, are now imposing sanctions on an energy giant,” which is a completely unusual phenomenon in history.
“These new sanctions hurt us a lot, so they are bad and painful for us, they cost us a lot of money, and they also threaten a significant part of the gains we have made over the past decade.”
The head of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Marcel Fratzscher, came to a similar conclusion. He told the Reuters news agency that “the Ukraine war caused massive damage to the German economy”.
“Roughly speaking, we are talking about four to five percentage points of gross domestic product being lost over a three-year period,” said Fratzscher. “That’s 150 to 200 billion euros less economic output.”
He warned of “a significant decline in private consumption and thus in the standard of living of an unusually large number of people”. A Forsa survey showed recently that the majority of Germans were no longer willing to accept financial disadvantages because of the federal government’s sanctions against Russia.
Hungary ‘bored’ by EU resolutions
Orbán also commented on the EU Parliament’s latest resolution in Belgrade, saying: “The only reason we are not laughing at this report is that we are already bored […] It is the third or fourth time that this is happening, that a resolution is being passed in the European Parliament condemning Hungary.”
The European Christian Democrats were also moving further and further to the left. “The voting shares show exactly that: the right-wing parties voted for Hungary and the left-wing parties against,” Orbán pointed out.
Meanwhile, a Hungarian delegation led by the Mayor of Budapest Istvan Tarlos visited the city of Samarkand.
A Samarkand official welcomed the Hungarian delegation, and told them about the economic potential, tourism opportunities of the region. Prospects of expanding trade, economic, tourism and other cooperation between Samarkand and Budapest were discussed.
Guests from Hungary got acquainted with historical and cultural monuments, as well as the sights of Samarkand.
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