Here are the first measures of the new government

Hungary needs a feisty, responsible government that unites the country while showing the necessary strength, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in Parliament on Tuesday.

Speaking ahead of the oath-taking ceremony of his fifth government, Orban said the new cabinet’s tasks are outlined by “dangers and especially the war”. The government will have to preserve and strengthen the physical, material and cultural security of Hungary and the Carpathian Basin, support Hungarian families, boost Hungarian companies and keep the economy on a path of growth, Orban said. Members of the new government were tapped with those tasks in mind, he added.

No government since 1990 has received as “great and united” a mandate as the fourth consecutive Orban government, the prime minister said. Its members will have to “justify this trust, which has been partly earned, partly given in advance,” he said. “That will be especially taxing, as we barely left the coronavirus pandemic behind, we have a war in our neighbourhood, and Brussels has got its wires crossed, so we cannot expect help from there,” he said. The strong mandate and the “uncertain future” has increased the government’s responsibility, he added.

The “decade of dangers, uncertainty and wars” of 2020-2030 has so far brought about a “flood of refugees, an unprecedented rise in energy and fuel prices and inflation,” Orban said. Meanwhile, the largest geopolitical reorganisation of the 21st century is looming, along with a global energy and food crisis, he said. A destabilisation of “vulnerable countries with large populations” may bring other waves of migration and so growing challenges for the “richer part of the world, including Hungary”, he said. All that would prove a challenge even “for a robust, eminently led European Union”. Instead, the bloc is showing “delays, confounded ideologies and irrational decisions,” he said. “At such times, Hungary cannot afford irresponsibility, division and weakness,” he said.

The members of the government are:

Viktor Orban, prime minister

Zsolt Semjen, deputy prime minister responsible for policies for Hungarian communities abroad and policies for national minorities and church relations as well as church diplomacy

Judit Varga, justice minister

Sandor Pinter, interior minister

Peter Szijjarto, minister of foreign affairs and trade

Janos Csak, minister of culture and innovation

Gergely Gulyas, minister heading the PM’s office

Janos Lazar, minister of construction and investment

Istvan Nagy, minister of agriculture

Marton Nagy, minister without portfolio responsible for economic development

Tibor Navracsics, minister for regional development and the utilisation of EU funds

Laszlo Palkovics, minister for technology and industry

Antal Rogan, head of the cabinet office

Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky, minister of defence

Mihaly Varga, finance minister

Later that day, Orban announced the state of emergency in view of the armed conflict in a neighbouring country. He said the war in Ukraine presented a constant danger to “Hungary, our physical safety, the energy supplies and financial safety of families, and the economy”. “We have seen that the war and sanctions from Brussels have brought about a great economic upheaval and drastic price rises. The world is on the brink of an economic crisis. Hungary has to stay out of this war and has to protect the financial security of families,” he said.

To do so, the government needs to be able to make decisions and act swiftly. The state of emergency, similarly to that introduced during the pandemic, will make it possible for the government to react quickly and to use “all methods at its disposal” to protect Hungary and Hungarians, he said.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister announced that big banks and multinational companies are reaping extra profits due to rising prices and interest rates, so the government will require these firms to pay significant part of their extra profits to newly established Utility Costs Protection Fund and Defense Fund.

Source and photo: MTI