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Nov 23, 2018

The EU “passed political judgement” when it rejected the Italian government’s draft budget, says Government Spokesman

Zoltán Kovács said the EU’s rules should apply equally to every member state, adding that whenever Italy and Hungary break the rules, they get sanctioned, but when France or Germany do it, they get off scot-free

Hungary's government spokesman has said the European Union “passed political judgement” when it rejected the Italian government’s draft budget.

In an interview with Italian daily Libero, Zoltán Kovács said the Hungarian government rarely comments on EU decisions regarding other member states, but “it seems obvious” that the EU “expressed a political opinion” about Italy’s draft budget when it should have undertaken a strictly technical and procedural assessment.

Kovács gave the interview during his visit to Rome at the same time the European Commission announced that it was launching an excessive deficit procedure against Italy over the government’s draft budget.

The spokesman stressed that the EU’s rules should apply equally to every member state, adding that whenever Italy and Hungary break the rules, they get sanctioned, but when France or Germany do it, they get off scot-free.

Kovács said the bloc’s rules should be changed so that they can be complied with, adding that Italy would be capable of drafting a budget without exceeding the EU’s deficit reference value.

The spokesman added that had Hungary joined the euro zone, it would not have been capable of accomplishing the economic feats that it has, he said. Hungary will adopt the common currency “when we are ready, when there are new rules and we get guarantees," he said.