Finance Minister Mihály Varga said the European Commission “owes significant sums of money” to Hungary, and is hindering the country’s economy.
Following talks with Johannes Hahn, the European Commissioner for Budget and Administration, Minister Varga said that besides calling for its funding from the European Union’s Resilience and Recovery Facility (RRF) to be released, Hungary also “expects answers on how the Commission is planning to support the countries protecting the borders of the Schengen Area in financing growing migration-related costs”. The RRF has “not fulfilled its initial promise”, he said, arguing that five member states had yet to receive funding. Had Hungary received the monies it is entitled to, its economy would have grown by more than 5% last year, Minister Varga said. Still, Hungary’s economy expanded by 4.6% while the budget deficit and the state debt were reduced, he said. Meanwhile, “our expenses in border protection will be over 650 billion forints [EUR 1.7bn] this year, of which the EU has only contributed some 1% since 2015,” he said. Regarding support for Ukraine, Varga told Hahn that a loan taken out jointly by EU countries was not the long-term solution. Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had talks with Hahn in his office.