VOICE OF THE CHAMBER: Parragh: „Jobs Are Safe…”
In an interview to the pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet, HCCI President, Dr. László Parragh said the Hungarian labour market is short of skilled workers and therefore wages increase steeply. At the same time, opposition parties and trade unions conduct a “scare-campaign” claiming that redundancies and an influx of cheap foreign workers will ruin the labour market. Mr. Parragh said it is hard to predict the impacts a slowdown of the German economy in Hungary. For the time being, we see no negative signs here, Mr. Parragh said.
“I challenge the fears that foreign workers would invade the country. Last year only 31 thousand foreigners – less than 1 percent of the total number of people employed - obtained work permits here. Besides quite a few of them – mainly Serbians and Ukrainians - are just transiting in Hungary and, as soon as possible – proceed to Western Europe in the hope of higher wages.“ Mr Parragh emphasized that the current labour shortage could not be cured solely with the admittance of foreign workers.
Mr Parragh said the Chamber agreed with the surveys that forecast unfavourable trends in the world economy. According to recent estimates, the output of the German car industry has dropped by 24 % in one year. “Further analyses are needed to find out what is behind this dramatic fall”, said Mr Parragh and added: "A hard Brexit can also lead to unforeseeable consequences, and there is a lot of uncertainty about the outcome of the US - China trade war, as well."
He said the domestic economy is stable and, in the short run, it will definitely be able to withstand potential economic shocks. As for the long-term strategies, Mr Parragh recalled that a few weeks ago Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced that the government would take preventive measures to protect the Hungarian economy from adverse effects.