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Szijjártó: The age of cheap Russian gas in Europe is over

Márk Kreft-Horváth
2022.12.19. 14:51 2022.12.20. 13:58
Szijjártó: The age of cheap Russian gas in Europe is over

“I do believe that what this liberal mainstream cannot digest is the fact that with our existence, our presence, we prove that the progressive liberal way to go forward is not the only way. And on top of that, we are successful,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó to Zoltán Kovács Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Relations in this year’s last episode of the podcast, The Bold Truth About Hungary. The Fidesz politicians discussed how Europe is severing more and more trade ties with Russia thereby bringing an end to the age of cheap Russian gas on the continent. They also mentioned the global minimum tax rate and the Hungarian space program.

“Having a patriotic right-wing, Christian democratic, anti-mainstream, not progressive government in place for twelve and a half years and being successful, this is totally undigestible for the liberal mainstream,” – declared Péter Szijjártó in the latest episode of the About Hungary page’s The Bold Truth About Hungary podcast

Investments are most important 

Zoltán Kovács, Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Relations, highlighted that:  

Because as long as we break the all-time investment records year by year. As long as the companies from those countries where we have a very bad political context are investing billions of billions of euros here on an annual basis, we are on the safe side.

He believes that the people truly in charge of making these decisions are not concerned with what foreign press have to say about Hungary, but about the hard facts and reality. 

In answer to a question about foreign policy, Péter Szijjártó said, Following the events of September 2014, it became perfectly clear that the old mode of foreign policy was no longer sustainable because the whole world had changed: the most important factors were tempo and fast responses, connecting economic interests with foreign policy, and insistence on sovereignty. 

The Minister also emphasized that from an economic and political perspective, Hungary is in a strong position outside of Europe and this is confirmed by the results. He called it a wise decision that they never discriminate against any investors, they simply asked one thing: for Hungary’s laws to be respected.

Péter Szijjártó mentioned China’s Huawei as a good example. Their presence in Hungary garnered a lot of criticism, however, when the 5G system operated by the non-Eastern European company Vodafone in downtown Budapest was handed over, it turned out that Huawei built the infrastructure necessary for this. The politician stated that in these cases, Europe is extremely hypocritical in an effort to satisfy the liberal media, liberal NGOs and those who fund them; they attack China and the Western world as well but meanwhile they do everything possible to attract investment. 

Era of cheap Russian gas over 

In connection with the war, the Minister stated:  

the era of cheap, Russian gas in Europe is over, definitely because the ties between Russia and Europe or the European Union are now being cut, one by one and I’m not quite sure it can be cured or healed during our lifetime.

He believes it is important to clarify that “the energy issues are neither political nor ideological issues, but physical ones…..” the safe supply of energy in Hungary cannot be guaranteed without using Russian sources.” 

“We have always been able to maintain a pragmatic relationship with the Russians, which allows us to tell them honestly what we think about the situation.  

And we usually tell them that we condemned the war. 

This war causes a lot of harm to us, a lot of difficulties to us, to Europe. By the way, the sanctions cause a lot of difficulties and harms to us as well. So, the best solution would be to stop this war and sit to the negotiations table, but without dialogue, without having the communication channels open, that’s not going to be possible. That’s I think very, very obvious,” he stated 

In regard to the global minimum tax, Péter Szijjártó said that it will definitely not help European competitiveness. 

According to the Minister, since the flat taxes from 2010 and Europe’s lowest rates, they have been able to achieve record-breaking employment, growth, export and investment volumes. That is why they were against the global minimum tax because they do not want to return to pre-2010 conditions.  

“We needed a guarantee that given the fact that there is local tax in force in Hungary, we can calculate the local tax when we calculate the tax level in Hungary…  If we had not received this kind of guarantee, we would have never given our consent to the global minimum tax. But this way, it doesn't disturb us because there will be no Hungarian jobs at risk because of this,” – he stated. 

Another Hungarian astronaut in space 

Concerning the Hungarian space program, Szijjártó said: communism gave us very few positives, but one of the few were achievements in the space industry which have left us capacity today. He admitted that at first a space industry seemed a bit far-fetched, but then  

After over 40 years now is the time for another Hungarian astronaut to step into space allowing us to conduct experiments in space as well as test solutions which can help boost economic growth. 

He indicated that they are in cooperation with the American Axiom company who will be sending the Hungarian astronaut, chosen from hundreds of candidates. 

Today they are down to eight candidates; currently they are being tested and in the next round only four will remain. They will continue training and find out only right before the expedition who will be the chosen astronaut.

Photo: Facebook

 

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