European Parliament Vice President Katarina Barley is warning German companies against investing in Hungary and making serious accusations against the Orbán Government, reports Münchner Merkur.
At the end of last year, the European Commission decided that billions of euros of EU money would not be paid to Hungary and Poland – billions that the two countries could very well use. To get the money, reforms must happen in the country – “reforms that chart a path back to the rule of law,” according to the German newspaper.
The Vice President of the European Parliament, Katarina Barley (SPD), looks with concern at the developments in Poland and Hungary – and is calling for a more decisive crackdown on the part of the European Commission. In an interview with IPPEN.Media,
she strongly advises German companies against investing in Hungary.
It is not the first time the EP member of the the Group of Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats has lashed out against Hungary’s government.
In 2020, on the air of DeutschlandFunk radio station, the vice president of the European Parliament,
Katarina Barley, appealed for the financial “starvation” of Poland and Hungary to protect the rule of law and democracy.
The Münchner Merkur quotes the politician now saying to IPPEN.Media:
“The only thing that impresses these governments is money. So we are now seeing some movement in both countries, both countries are putting forward proposals for reforms. But in Hungary they are much less constructive than in Poland. In Poland, it is getting better, but it is not good yet. With the Hungarian government, however, things are continuing just as before.
In my view, however, far too little is happening on the part of the EU. Asking these governments to reform their own systems has very limited effect.”
She then goes on to say:
“In Parliament, we are currently confronted above all with the problem that Hungary is to take over the Council Presidency from summer 2024, followed directly by Poland. We as a parliament are currently considering how to deal with this. Can they be excluded from the presidency? Or only from certain topics? That is what we are looking at right now.”
The decision on the presidency is not in the hands of the parliament, as Hungary Today has previously reported. Yet in response to a reporter’s question if she sees any other ways of increasing economic pressure, for example by persuading companies not to invest in Hungary, Barley said:
“That is exactly what I have been trying to do for a long time. The problem is that some companies benefit greatly from the system in Hungary. They pay hardly any taxes, get a direct line to the government, and laws are changed in their favor if they do not suit them. Of course, this is extremely convenient for these companies. Especially automotive companies seem to benefit from this. So far, they have also been spared the downside of the Orbán system.”
In Barley’s view, the downside is as follows: “There are numerous companies – and there are more and more – that are first lured into the country by the Hungarian government and then ripped off. The system works like this: Companies are lured with low costs and coddled into investing. Once the companies have invested in Hungary, everything goes great until they are then in the black. Then the harassment begins – and in a way that is hard to imagine. Suddenly, companies have to pay special taxes of up to 90 percent, alleged the EP Vice-President.
Photo: Facebook Katarina Barley
She said car manufacturers have so far been spared this action by the Hungarian authorities. BMW is even building a new plant in Debrecen for two billion euros, as we have also reported. Nonetheless, the MEP suggests BMW to build anywehere else, like “in Romania, for example, where costs are also low and there are also places with good infrastructure.”
Reacting to press reports, Secretary of State Tamás Menczer said that Brussels has launched another attack against Hungary and the Hungarian people.
The reason for this is that we say no to migration, war, and sanctions,”
the State Secretary wrote. Brussels wants to move BMW from Debrecen to Romania, he warned. She called Barley, an “extremist pro-war and pro-immigration vice-president of the European Parliament,” who has previously said that “Hungary must be starved financially!”
Barley has now launched a new attack on Hungary, wanting foreign companies to invest elsewhere, such as Romania, rather than in Hungary. However, Hungary has consistently broken both investment and export records in recent years, he pointed out.
“We will reject another attack from Brussels, we will defend Hungary’s sovereignty!”, the State Secretary concluded his post.
Featured Image: Facebook Katarina Barley