The Socialist party has demanded the government explain why it decided to forego EU support of 900 million forints (EUR 2.5 million) for coronavirus tests which could be offered to citizens free of charge or for a discount.
Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi told an online press briefing on Saturday that many people could not afford PCR tests which the government capped at 19,500 forints (EUR 54), noting that a large family could end up paying 100,000 forints (EUR 279) for a round of tests.
After numerous demands for information from the Hungarian government on the outcome of the bid for related funds, he turned to the European Commission and was told the government had withdrawn its request.
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Asked why (rapid) tests are more expensive in Hungary than in the rest of Europe, the Prime Minister said at a government press conference as recently as December that the Competition Authority should look into the matter because "the current situation is unacceptable."Continue reading
Ujhelyi slammed the government’s “irresponsibility” and “insensitivity”. He added that EU support would have gone a long way to curbing the epidemic while helping travelers who received a vaccine that Western countries do not recognize.
Featured photo illustration by Attila Kovács/MTI