Hungary supports a more concerted effort by European Union financial market watchdogs to combat money laundering but sees efforts to strengthen the role of the European Banking Authority (EBA) as overreach, Finance Minister Mihály Varga said after a meeting of EU finance ministers in Luxembourg on Tuesday.
Hungary cannot support any proposal that that would allow the EBA to supersede the authority of supervisory bodies of member states on matters which affect the national scope of operations of financial institutions, Varga said.
The European Commission proposed at the meeting strengthening the role of the EBA in supervising EU financial institutions so as to better address money laundering and terrorist financing threats.
Hungary supports a proposal tabled at the meeting to allow generalised, temporary reversal of VAT liability to fight carousel fraud, Varga said, but noted that Hungary has introduced better targeted, more efficient measures to crack down on tax evasion, such as requiring a direct connection between tills and the tax office as well as introducing an oversight system for road haulage companies and mandatory electronic invoicing.
The minister said that the east-central European region may remain the engine of economic growth in the European Union, with Hungary reaching a growth of 4.8 percent of GDP as against the bloc’s average, projected just over 2 percent.