Hungary must prepare for the possibility of a prolonged economic slowdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, a lawmaker of opposition LMP said on Friday.
More and more western European countries are bringing back lockdowns, which will also affect the Hungarian economy, Péter Ungár told an online press conference, predicting that the country’s tourism sector would not recover until at least March next year. He said the government was not doing enough to ease the effects of the crisis on certain sectors and was only looking at macroeconomic indicators. “But GDP growth is no consolation to someone who has had to close their restaurant,” Ungár argued. He pointed out that the Austrian government had paid out 50 times as much wage support money as the Hungarian government. He said the government should provide an 80% wage subsidy to those who had lost their jobs during the pandemic and extend the period of eligibility for unemployment benefits from three months to nine.