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Sep 17, 2019

Hungary will veto EU budget in its current form, says official

Gergely Gulyás has said the European Union budget for the next seven-year cycle is unacceptable to Hungary and will be vetoed unless it is changed.

The Minister in charge of the Prime Minister's office has said Hungary will veto the EU budget in its current form.

Gergely Gulyás told Reuters that the European Union budget for the next seven-year cycle is unacceptable to Hungary and will be vetoed unless it is changed.

"What we reject is that it is not the standard of living and the (fiscal) performance that would matter,” Gulyás said. “In this (present) form Hungary would definitely veto it.”

Gulyás added that Hungary's main objection was that the EU would make payments to members conditional on rule of law criteria as of 2021, instead of each country's performance and fiscal discipline. He also said that Hungary was ready to make higher contributions to the EU budget, should Britain's departure leave a gap in the Union's finances.

However, he said that Hungary on its own would not veto a further delay in the Brexit schedule as a no-deal Brexit was against the country's economic interests.

“The Prime Minister, similarly to the prime ministers of the 26 other countries, is free to decide on what he will do in case there is a fresh [Brexit] delay but it can be excluded that Hungary would make a move alone,” Gulyas said in the interview.

Gulyás added that a no-deal Brexit would be harmful to Hungary’s economy, although the impact would be less severe than in other member states. He said he was hopeful that a no-deal Brexit would only reduce Hungary’s economic growth by less than 0.5 percent.