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Jul 16, 2020

Parliament's decision on EU recovery package is binding for PM

At the EU summit this week, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will be bound by parliament's conditions.

 

Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minster's Office, said the Hungarian parliament has the sole authority to change the conditions it approved in a bill on Tuesday regarding the European Union’s coronavirus rescue package.

At the EU summit this week, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will be bound by those conditions, Gulyás said. The prime minister would have to re-submit any changes to parliament for another debate, he added.

According to MTI, Gulyás said that since the EU plans to take out a loan to finance its post-pandemic recovery package and every member state must provide a guarantee, a parliamentary resolution was warranted. Opinions on the loan are “far apart” within the bloc, he said. “Whether Hungary vetoes [the proposal] isn’t the question.”

Countries such as the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria refuse to provide aid to the southern member states and would only provide loans, he said. Meanwhile, central Europe “has its own conditions,” he added.

Regarding criticism levelled against Hungary regarding the rule of law, Gulyás said the issue was being used as political ammunition “against conservative central European governments”. Having suffered through the communist dictatorship, Hungary’s government “highly appreciates the rule of law,” he said.

Finally, Gulyás said the Hungarian government had an obligation to protect its citizens against the coronavirus. The interests of holidaymakers abroad would have to take a back seat, he said. The government has to be prepared to stop the virus from entering the country again to avoid a shutdown similar to that in March.