Hungary rejects EU’s plan to base Covid-19 recovery funding on rule of law

by Abdulmumeen S. Yitta

The Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, has announced that the EU’s plan to base its coronavirus recovery funding on rule of law would be unacceptable and that his country would be all ready to veto any deal as a last course of action.

As the Hungarian Prime Minister for almost a decade who has wielded incredible power since assuming office, Orban is known for his pushback from democratic governance, a practice that has slung him into series of clashes with the EU.

While disclosing this on Friday July 10, 2020, Orban said, “We could veto a final accord, because it needs to be a unanimous decision, but we would find ourselves facing off with 26 other countries. One should only do that as a last resort.”

Next week the EU’s 27 leaders would be meeting face to face to deliberate on the body’s multiannual budget and post-pandemic recovery.

At the meeting which will be the first to be held physically since the Brussels policy meeting was halted due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, EU leaders would draw detailed plans on how to expend the 750 billion euros earmarked for economy recovery aid to the Covid-19 hardest hit member states.

Speaking about the money, Orban noted that the money should be distributed fairly. Raising this concern he said, “One thing should be carefully avoided: mixing it up with politics. That’s Hungary’s gravest condition.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday told the European Parliament she would engage with Orban on EU’s stand to condition distribution of coronavirus economy recovery fund in Hungary on the rule of law.

“Defending the rule of law is important…We are going to say things clearly when it comes to Viktor Orban.

“We will keep a watchful eye on what happens there,” Merkel said

Orban criticized the EU’s approach calling it a dead end that the body is attaching its ideology to economic matters.

Orban’s stance has however being criticized by the opposition Socialist Party for being hypocritical saying the Prime Minister has used the last decade of his power to undo democratic norms in Hungary.

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