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EU fund freeze lifted

September 11th, 2013

A pro-government commentator believes that the government has won an important battle against the European Commission which tried to punish Hungary by suspending EU funds.

On Monday, European Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn announced that Hungary could again accede to the EU funds suspended in August due to administrative deficiencies in earlier contracts (see BudaPost August 17). The European Commission withheld the equivalent of 75 billion Forints, 5 per cent of the total. State Secretary in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár MP added that the withheld amount can be used later to finance new projects, and thus no funds are lost.

János Lázár has been successful in convincing the European Commission that the EU cohesion funds cannot be used as political weapons against the Hungarian government, Anna Szabó writes in Magyar Nemzet. The pro-government columnist suggests that the EU trumped up minor administrative issues in order to punish the Hungarian government. Thus, Szabó finds even the minor five per cent cut illegitimate. She adds that punitive decisions made by unelected EU bureaucrats may further deepen the deficit of trust within the EU. In conclusion, Szabó calls on the Hungarian government to make sure that the EU funds available until the end of the year be distributed and used so that no resources are wasted.

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