Asked if PM Orbán would back the EU’s budget and recovery fund next week, head of the Prime Minister’s Office repeated at the regular government press briefing on Thursday that the government considered the proposal to be “unacceptable” in its current form. All member states have a right to exercise their veto power, Gergely Gulyás said, adding that negotiations should continue until EU leaders find a solution that works for all countries.
Hungary is open to further talks, Gulyás said, adding that “we believe a solution can be found”. He said Hungary would not be losing out on any EU funding if the recovery package were not approved. He noted that the 1,800 billion euro package included the 1,050 billion euro seven-year budget and the 750 billion euro Next Generation EU recovery fund. The latter, he noted, would be financed from a joint loan.
Hungary in the end approved a method of crisis management that it fundamentally disagreed with only out of solidarity with the southern EU member states that are in bigger financial trouble, Gulyás said.
Hungary will announce all EU tenders for the next funding cycle from Jan. 1, even without an agreement on the next budget, Gulyás said. “This is not what we want or what we’re preparing for, but if there are meaningful talks then we’re prepared to reach an agreement,” he added.
Asked about the scandal of former Fidesz MEP József Szájer, Gulyás, quoting Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, said Szájer’s actions were incompatible with Fidesz’s values. Though Fidesz will not forget or repudiate Szájer’s 30 years of service, “his actions are unacceptable and indefensible”, Gulyás said, adding that Szájer had made the right call by apologising, stepping down from his position as an MEP and quitting the party.
Gulyás dismissed claims that the affair was “an act of revenge by Brussels” or that it involved the secret service as “speculation” which he said the government refused to comment on.
Featured photo by Zoltán Máthé/MTI