Hungarian Cabinet Disputes Brussels Decision

  • 29 Feb 2012 8:00 AM
Hungarian Cabinet Disputes Brussels Decision
"The European Commission’s (EC) proposal to freeze cohesion fund payments to Hungary is unfounded and unfair, the government said in response. It is impossible to comprehend why the Commission has ignored the fact that, for the first time since joining the EU, Hungary's budget deficit was below 3% of GDP in 2011 and will remain under that figure this year, prime ministerial spokesman Peter Szijjarto and government spokesman Andras Giro-Szasz declared in a joint statement.

Since the EC produced its estimate that next year's budget deficit will be 3.25%, the cabinet has taken steps to reduce that figure by 0.4%, the statement said, adding that Prime Minister Viktor Orban had briefed EC President Jose Barroso on his.

They argued that the proposal is legally questionable and runs counter to the spirit of EU treaties, as it would impose a punishment for a supposed event in the future.

The government's economic policy is taking Hungary in the right direction, they said, as last year's economic growth exceeded that of the entire EU and the eurozone, while Hungary is continuously reducing the state debt inherited from the past.

Fidesz vice-president Lajos Kosa said the EU is punishing a government and a country which are doing their best to keep the budget deficit under 3% and to reduce its state debt.

Jobbik leader Gabor Vona called the decision a very grave and gross humiliation of Hungary. He called for cross-party consultations on Hungary's EU strategy.

The Christian Democrats urged the government not to surrender to blackmail. The party said that taxed banks and multinational companies are behind the EC decision in order to force the government to devolve all burdens on pensioners and employees.

Economy Ministry state secretary Zoltan Csefalvay repeated on Wednesday that Hungary's cohesion funds will not be frozen, as the government has time to guarantee a 3% deficit before the end of the year."

Source: Hungary Around the Clock

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