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The value of cooperation has grown in this tense economy

KOREN-KARCZUB TÍMEA
2022.06.18. 10:12 2022.06.18. 10:13
The value of cooperation has grown in this tense economy

“The tense world economic situation increases the value of stable and reliable economic cooperation; Slovakia and Hungary have established such cooperation within recent years,” highlighted Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó yesterday after a bilateral meeting with Slovak Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Ivan Korčok.

“We arrived to this press conference later than planned, please excuse us; but anyways, given the current environment, there are plenty more things to worry about in the world than two ministers spending more time than planned together,” stated Péter Szijjártó, reacting to the fact that the meeting lasted longer than planned with Ivan Korčok.

At the Ministries of Foreign Affairs' joint press conference, Péter Szijjártó said, “we are so close to each other that we have grown accustomed to not holding separate meetings for just the two of us.” He emphasized thatit is especially important for neighbors to occasionally hold exclusive meetings to discuss bilateral matters, particularly now with war in our neighborhood.Péter Szijjártó said that since Slovakia and Hungary are both neighboring countries of Ukraine, they face direct dangers and challenges caused by the war. “In connection with the war, we are not only facing physical and security challenges, but also economic ones. Energy prices and interest rates are sky-high; according to our calculations, this situation can result in not only a European economic crisis, but a global one as well,” he elaborated.

The global economy is full of tensions; we are under massive international pressure to accept the introduction of a global minimum tax in Europe, but we do not want this,– added Péter Szijjártó, explaining that a global minimum tax would have a dramatic impact on the European economy, and within that, the Hungarian one. Among other things, it would lead to the loss of jobs. He pointed out that at the time of the agreement, there was still talk of implementing more transparent and efficient taxation of large digital technology companies along with a global minimum tax – however, the first half of this plan was “forgotten for some reason,” which he highlighted as also unacceptable. He explained that if this measure were to be enacted by the European Union before anyone else, it would have a very negative effect on the continent’s competitiveness. He added that several American republican representatives and organizations have already made statements in connection with the case, expressing their opposition.

The tense global economy increases the value of stable and reliable cooperation; Slovakia and Hungary have established such cooperation within recent years and both countries have profited greatly from it,– emphasized the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He went on to say that trade between the two countries broke a record last year, exceeding 13 billion euros for the first time.

Péter Szijjártó also discussed Hungary and Slovakia’s cooperation in the field of energy. “A few years ago, the Slovaks and us did our homework: we built the interconnectors connecting the gas pipelines between Slovakia and Hungary.”

We prefer standing on the ground of reality: energy supply is a physical and mathematical question, not ideological or philosophical. You cannot cook and heat philosophically – only if you have the necessary gas for it,– he added.

At the press conference, Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok congratulated Péter Szijjártó on his appointment to Foreign Minister. The Slovak politician then expressed his agreement that Slovakia and Hungary indeed deserve to meet regularly. In response to Magyar Nemzet’s question of what the Visegrád States’ (the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary) priorities will be in the coming years – given that Slovakia will be taking over the organization’s presidency in July following Hungary – the Slovakian Minister responded: among other things,cross-border cooperation and developing common infrastructure will be our goal.He added that in the future they want to establish common positions in foreign policy. “The Visegrád alliance is a strong alliance, but because it is made up of four countries, it is unimaginable that we would agree on everything,” said Péter Szijjártó in response to the many predictions that the V4 would fall apart as the four countries’ standpoint diverges on many issues, one being weapons transports to Ukraine.

Photo: Szijjártó Péter (Photo: MTI/Balogh Zoltán)